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The Brooklyn indie pop outfit Au Revoir Simone features Heather D'Angelo (vocals/drum machine/keyboard), Erika Forster (vocals/keyboard), and Annie Hart (vocals/keyboard). Borrowing their name from a minor character in the Tim Burton comedy Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, the Casio-centric group came together in late 2003, when Forster and Hart befriended one another while traveling by train from Vermont to New York. From there, they became fast friends and began writing songs together. D'Angelo and Sung Bin Park (keyboard/vocals) were added to the dreamy pop fray after contributing to many practice sessions, but Park left in January 2005 to pursue other projects. A year later, Au Revoir Simone issued their debut album, Verses of Comfort, Assurance & Salvation. It was self-released in the United States and appeared on the Moshi Moshi label throughout Europe. Additionally, the song "Through the Backyards" was included in the season finale to Grey's Anatomy that spring, thus boosting the trio's profile. Au Revoir Simone's second album, The Bird of Music, was released one year later, while a track-by-track remix of the record appeared in 2008 under the title Reverse Migration. The trio's third album, Still Night, Still Light, was produced by Thom Monahan and released by Our Secret Record Company in spring of 2009. After taking a long break from the band, during which each member pursued their own individual musical pathways, the band reunited to record and release their fourth album in late 2013. Co-produced by the trio and Jorge Elbrecht of the band Violens, Move in Spectrums was issued on legendary producer Richard Gottehrer's revived Instant Records label.
Au Revoir Simone is an American electronic dream pop band from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, United States, formed in late 2003. The group is composed of Erika Forster (vocals/keyboard), Annie Hart (vocals/keyboard), and Heather D'Angelo (vocals/drum machine/keyboard). The band's name comes from a line Pee-wee Herman says to a minor character (named Simone) in Tim Burton's 1985 film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
Au Revoir Simone began in the autumn of 2003 when Erika Forster and Annie Hart first became acquainted on a long train ride home to NYC from a weekend getaway with friends. Along the way they exchanged stories and ambitions, and discovered that they shared a common desire to form an all-keyboard band. When they returned to New York City, they began meeting regularly to play music. Heather D'Angelo started joining in at these informal bedroom band practices, which also included former member Sung Bin Park (keyboard/vocals). Soon after, they started playing shows around Manhattan and Brooklyn. In January 2005, Park left the band and the girls started anew as a trio. In 2006 they did a Take-Away Show video session shot by Vincent Moon, and toured the US, Canada and Europe with We Are Scientists. The following year, they went on a US tour with Peter, Bjorn and John. In 2007 they played a concert at Fondation Cartier in Paris for David Lynch's retrospective exhibition. The stage they performed on was a recreation of the set from his film Eraserhead. Au Revoir Simone played at both the Treasure Island Music Festival and Monolith Festival in September 2007, as well as the Lovebox festival in London in 2009. At the end of 2009 the group embarked on their own headlining tour of Japan. In 2007, the band contributed a t-shirt design to raise money for Transportation Alternatives. In 2010, they created one of the first interactive music videos for their song "Knight of Wands." In true coloring book style, the video allows viewers to become a part of the creative process.
The band's debut album was named after a tiny book that Hart received, titled Verses of Comfort, Assurance and Salvation. The group felt that the name completely fit their music and the way it made them feel, so they chose it for the album title."Au Revoir Simone". Moshimoshmusic.com. Retrieved 15 February 2015. "David Lynch's darlings - Au Revoir Simone". The Daily Telegraph (London). 27 May 2009. "Smiles a ball of string and sweet talk with au revoir simone". Spinearth.tv. Retrieved 15 February 2015. Au Revoir Simone. "The Knight of Wands". Interactive Music Video. Archived from the original on 29 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
Au Revoir Simone's music has been described by London's The Times as "a collision between the Waitresses, Stereolab and Kings of Convenience, their music has power from what it holds back rather than spells out, and is just waiting to be fallen in love with (or to)." British Vogue has said, “Eschewing the typical guitar-heavy band set-up for old-school synthesizers and vintage drum machines, [Au Revoir Simone] create dreamy synth-pop. Their soft ethereal vocals laid over spare homemade drumbeats are reminiscent of Air and Stereolab." Pitchforkmedia.com has said their music is "feather-light electro-pop that's not to be taken lightly."
David Lynch called the group's music "innocent, hip and new." Spin also reviewed the group: "Powered by vintage keyboards, a lockstep beat-box, and gorgeous, wide-eyed warbling, the Simones create make-out music for your inner android." NME said: "Au Revoir Simone [appears] onstage like the sisters from The Virgin Suicides—[its] looks ranging from prim librarian, to hippy housewife to raven-haired art student. [The group] excavates the lost corner, joining Ladytron and Camera Obscura: lush electronic hypno-folk that breezes from the speakers like chocolate melting over one of Latitude's many £5-a-crepe food stalls". In another NME article, the magazine noted, "Au Revoir Simone must have beamed in from a land where lace clouds breeze over crystal lakes and icicles grow from the warm earth. This New York three-piece's glorious synth-lead alt-folk will leave you crying on the stairs in the middle of the night." The group defined itself as playing "warm and electronic music with forthright female vocalists.""AU REVOIR SIMONE THE BIRD OF MUSIC" (PDF). Aurevoirsimone.com. Retrieved 15 February 2015. "Au Revoir Simone Still Night, Still Light". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
According to the website of the band's European label, the group's musical influences could be "likened to a dutifully mined musical thrift store"; these diverse influences include Modest Mouse, Stereolab, The Mountain Goats, Louis Prima, Pavement, The Beach Boys, Björk, Broadcast, Belle & Sebastian, David Bowie, Bee Gees, and Billie Holiday. Forster harbors a love of German label Morr Music, specifically artists such as Guther, Lali Puna, and Ms. John Soda."Au revoir Simone". Moshimoshimusic.com. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
In popular culture
"Sad Song" was featured in the 2007 German blockbuster movie Keinohrhasen (English: Rabbits Without Ears) and later on the soundtrack of the 2011 movie From Prada to Nada. Also in 2007, their song "Stay Golden" appeared in the French film Anna M.. "The Lucky One" and "Don't See the Sorrow" were heard in the 2008 Japanese film Kimi no Tomodachi (English: Your Friends). In November 2008, Au Revoir Simone were featured in both the original and the Aeroplane remix of Friendly Fires track "Paris". In 2009, Au Revoir Simone's song "Another Likely Story" was featured on the 100th episode ("What a Difference a Day Makes") of Grey's Anatomy. The band's song "Crazy" was featured in the 2014 film Vampire Academy and its soundtrack.""Grey's Anatomy" What a Difference a Day Makes (TV Episode 2009)". IMDb. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2015.