Album Review: Au Revoir Simone – Night Light

Since the release of their 2006 debut Verses of Comfort, Assurance & Salvation, electronic dream-poppers Au Revoir Simone have been continually mastering the art of combining vibrant harmonies with gorgeous soundscapes. In 2009, the Brooklyn trio released Still Night, Still Light, their third and strongest album to date. Although Still Night may not have been a departure from the signature sound of Au Revoir Simone, it features melodies at their richest and most ethereal and achieves the rare emotional balance between the cold of heartbreak and the warmth of comfort.

Night Light is actually the second collection of remixes from Au Revoir Simone. Their second album, The Bird of Music, received the remix treatment on the digital-only release of Reverse Migration, a largely unnecessary collection of mixes that failed to illuminate most of the songs under a new and compelling light. Fortunately, Night Light fares better than Reverse Migration, thanks to an impressive and disparate list of contributing artists. On Night Light, all 12 songs from Still Night, Still Light appear in the same order, except for additional remixes of “Another Likely Story” and “Shadows” that appear at the end of the album. “Another Likely Story” gets a lo-fi funk makeover courtesy of Neon Indian, and this shift from the dreamy to the psychedelic is one of the most compelling transformations on Night Light.

Night Light is at its most captivating on Jens Lekman’s remix of “Shadows”. The Swedish indie-popster fleshes out the song with the swell of orchestral strings, elevating it to a cinematic level where the vocals are all the more affecting. On “Only You Can Make Me Happy”, Angel Deradoorian of Dirty Projectors adds new layers of icy beauty to another remix that just might outshine the original.  Another outstanding remix is Mack Winston’s take on “The Last One”, on which Winston completely renovates the delicate synth ballad with a Caribbean rhythm and surf guitar.

The best remix albums bring new life to the source material, and while some tracks on Night Light, such as Aeroplane’s remix of “Another Likely Story”, are given the expected dance floor treatment, others represent a drastic metamorphosis in unpredictable directions. Overall, the remixes prove to be enjoyable diversions that enhance the already great songs from Still Night, Still Light and in some cases, exceed them.


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