It looks like the Avec Sans train is really starting to roll out of the station now. You could consider the past four year since England’s finest ElectroPop outfit emerged as one big training montage and now it;s time for the big fight. Releasing a couple of single’s a year they have stayed in the consciousnesses of discerning music lovers, honed their skills on the live circuit and now their long long awaited début album is finally on the horizon. It’s time to kick things up a notch.
The first single from the album? Heartbreak Hi; which is extremely pleasing in a lovely symmetry kinda’ way. Of course, Heartbreak Hi was The Sans’ first ever track; the track that had us hooked, so it seems fitting that it was chosen to be the track to hook new listeners at the start of this album cycle. The beginning of this chapter of Avec Sans kicks off in the same bombastic fashion as the previous one.
Also, Heartbreak Hi sums up Avec Sans perfectly. It’s Avec Sans condensed and distilled into it’s purest form. It’s neat Avec Sans. No ice.
For a start Heartbreak Hi is exemplary of The Sans’ lyrical flavour. A deep melancholy and undercurrent of darkness intertwined with a healthy amount of tongue-in-cheek and word play. Anyone who spent the early-to-mid 90s slumped in front of teatime telly will instantly make the connection with the Aussie equivalent of Grange Hill, Heartbreak High. When Sci-Fi Debbie Harry Alice Fox turns that into “Hello heartbreak; hi” there’s an instant feeling (aside from ‘why the hell has no-one thought of that before’) of comforting nostalgia that tempers the track’s themes of loneliness.
The Sans haven’t just dumped a four year old MP3 on the world though. This Heartbreak Hi has been completely re-recorded and remastered. Instantly noticeable it that it sounds much warmer than it’s predecessor. Novation Yoda and part-time Clive Lewis cosplayer Jack St. James is renowned for his clean, crisp melodies and razor sharp synths which here are delivered in a more well-rounded whole than Heartbreak Hi’s predecessor.
As always, Avec Sans’ killer app is the combination of somewhat abrasive, somewhat aggressive, exhilarating and emotional electronic music and Alice’s Sarah-Cracknell-but-friendlier vocals. There’s a certain tone to Alice’s voice that could probably sing you a Cancer diagnosis and have you saying “ahhh whatever”; and weirdly (I say ‘weirdly’ because I have no justification for this at all) that blend of jagged and euphoric electronics with a voice with displays both confidence and fragility always makes me think there is more going on in the track’s narrative, like each Avec Sans song is a small slices of a larger story. Or maybe that’s just me and I should shut up and dance?
So; Heartbreak Hi is released 18th March with a full reMix package. Aces Sans forthcoming première album drops 3rd June. The album is, as-yet, untitled. In keeping with the 90s nostalgia my suggestion would be The One Where Alice And Jack Release An Album. You’re Welcome.
You can pre-order the album (including on vinyl!!!), and a whole host of other goodies including CDs, tote bags, private gigs, Jack’s sage-like production nouse, Alice’s clothes and a dress-up-like-me kit on their PledgeMusic page which is well worth a browse ‘cos there’s a ton of stuff there. If you’re in old London town next month you can catch them at The Old Blue Last; I’ll be there so, y’know, leave me alone please (joke!). Or if you’re at SXSW they’ll be doing the rounds (Great! More people on my friends list to join in the annual reminder that I’m not at SXSW and how everyone is having a much better time than me!).
Check out Heartbreak Hi below. Then go and pre-order the new album. Then get a little restless waiting until June. Ahhh, the double-edged sword of the pre-order. You should though; Avec Sans are super DIY and self-funding, and in the words of respected philosopher Mr. John Tesco “Every Little Helps”.
tl;dr Yay, Avec Sans have finally got an album coming out.
♫ Avec Sans – Heartbreak Hi
Avec Sans’ Heartbreak Hi is released 18th March followed by their début album on 3rd June.
Pre-order the album, the single and tons of other goodies here.
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