[Audio] Avec Sans’ ‘Heartbreak Hi’ album


Avec Sans

What I can I say about Avec Sans that I haven’t already? Probably not a lot; but they’ve just gone and released their début full-lengther so let’s give it a go, eh? To call their new album, sharing the title Heartbreak Hi with their first single, long-awaited would be an understatement. I’ve always seen The Sans as an album band, so the slow trickle of singles over the past four years has been tantalizing in the extreme and now that time has come I can well and truly say that a large body of Avec Sans work feels as satisfying as I’d always thought it would.

To bring you up to speed (insert American TV voice here: “Previously on Avec Sans…”); Avec Sans are, without question, amongst the top tier ElectroPop artists the UK has ever produced, and definitely one if, if not the best in the past decade. Striking the perfect balance between machine music and deep emotion in all elements of their sound as Jack St James offers up a deft combination of spiky, jagged synths and lush, evocative arrangements while Alice Fox’s voice flits between icy aloofness and heartfelt passion. This blending of cold and warm, dark and light, is what makes Avec Sans’s music such a rich experience. And it’s pretty groovy too! They serve up something for the heart, the head and the feet.

Avec Sans Heartbreak Hi Album

Heartbreak Hi is a both a culmination of the past few years of work and an introduction to new, sometimes surprising, material. All the singles are present and correct from their premiére tracks Perth and Heartbreak Hi, through The Answer, Hold On, Shiver, All Of Time,and Resonate to When You Go. So, rather than going over the singles again, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and re-visit our first impressions of the tracks. Here’s a rundown of Avec Sans’ previous singles, featured on Heartbreak Hi, via the medium of quoting our original thoughts:

♫ Avec Sans – Heartbreak Hi

Heartbreak Hi: “The track itself is glorious, rousing slice of razor sharp ElectroPop. With a very slight Industrial quality to it, that is tempered by Alice Fox’s impassioned vocals. It’s rare for a new ElectroPop act to come along and sound so polished and mature from the get-go.” (June 2012)

Shiver: “Catchy, but in an intelligent way, the tune is a cavalcade of buzzing synths and dance beats. Ms. Fox’s vocals sound more epic than ever, set to a sweeping, driving, slice of ElectroPop gold.” (November 2013)

When You Go: “Swoosh! That’s how When You Go begins. Once suitably swooshed you’ll be treated to a booming and majestic tune that sees Jack playing with an almost Dubby groove, albeit it a Dubby groove run through his humming RoboPop machines while Alice’s smoky vocal delivers that particular gloomy optimism that only she can.” (July 2015)

Hold On: “Hold On delivers compelling beats, a swirl of biting synths and a chorus that’ll stick in your head all day. What more could you want?” (June 2013)

The Answer: “If you said to me that this was a track created by a guy who has experimented with many different forms of electronic music and a vocalist who cut her teeth on the Indie band circuit, I would say that’s exactly what it is.” (November 2012)

Resonate: “Resonate is a thumping mid-tempo ElectroPop epic that it’s hard not to get swept up in as the starlight arpeggios swirl around an intimate and intoxicating vocal performance, all set to a hammerfall kick.” (April 2015)

All Of Time: “…a rousing, emotional SynthPop track with a surprising and powerful Indie sensibility. Piercing synths and Alice’s passionate vocal delivery wash over some tight dance beats on this one.” (August 2014)

Perth: “…a seriously classy cover of Bon Iver’s Perth” (June 2012)

All of which goes to show two things. Firstly that I am a terrible writer (but we knew this anyway, right?). Secondly that Avec Sans have been offering up the finest of tunes consistently since 2012; and by ‘consistently’ I don’t mean quantity, I mean consistently high quality. There’s a craftsmanship (and craftswomanship) and attention to sonic detail going on here that I’m sure some other acts would have found exhausting to keep up.

♫ Avec Sans – Shiver

All of that is precluded by the album opener, Even The Echoes, which layers on the atmosphere in true album intro style. The track actually sets up the album really well, all the Sans elements are in place. Jack’s sample manipulation and growling tones, Alice’s slightly sad anthems. All just a little reined in, tempo-wise, to ease you into proceedings. To the trained ear (and when I say trained, I mean: have listened to a lot of Aves Sans on busses in the past four years) the evolution and increasing musical confidence throughout their carrier is apparent in Heartbreak Hi’s catalogue; and damn, We Are is an evolved and confident tune. A sublime Pop track with beats and a hook that are surprisingly early-90s. I mean, seriously, it’s synth horns and hushed vocals could have easily been featured on the early days of MTV UK. A proper Pop anthem.

History, for me anyway, is the unforeseen standout of the new album tracks. A departure from Avec Sans’ crisp and regimented SynthPop into something with a gentle, almost R&B swing at times, a thick dancefloor bass and an IndiePop refrain. Which is an odd combination but when put into musical context, with Jack’s production and Alice’s delivery, is a combination that both works as an Avec Sans track, and give the duo a chance to flex their musical muscles slightly outside of the comfort zone (with total success!).

Gun to my head; Close My Eyes is my least favourite track on the album. Not a bad song by any means, I particularly like the lyrical imagery and the little squirly (that’s a word damnit!) bit in the riff, but it doesn’t quite reach the heights of it’s album mates. The album closer, Mistakes, however, is perfectly placed to ease you out of the record. A song full of regrets and reflection that pairs a hushed lament with a hazy swirl of rising keys that eventually breaks, like tension snapping, for the track’s, and album’s, beat driven finale.

♫ Avec Sans – When You Go

Which leads us to one last point of order. What’s my favourite Avec Sans song then? Well, now there is a large enough body of work out there I can safely say that it’s Hold On, for various reasons. Musically it speaks to my love of abrasive sounds made into something beautiful; an emotional and warm track comprised of chainsaw synths and piercing leads with a catchy as hell hook. Lyrically I find it totally relatable. I’ve no idea what Alice wrote the track about, but in the finest tradition of the listener interpreting the song, it is scary how it could have been written about a certain time in my life (more than any song I’ve head in the past decade or so!). Thankfully a time long in the past, still gives me goosebumps hearing a song about it though. Especially one that makes me want to dance!

♫ Avec Sans – Hold On

To sum up, in case you haven’t been paying attention. Just go and buy this album. A ‘summing up’ paragraph seems a little redundant at this point, if you read this website then you will love this album, without a doubt. It’s been a long time coming and doesn’t disappoint. It also feels a bt like the end of Aves Sans chapter one, and we are already excited about what Jack and Alice will bring us for chapter two.

Avec Sans’ Heartbreak Hi is out now on digital and CD, you can pre-order the vinyl here.

Buy Avec Sans’ music from:


[Audio] Avec Sans’ ‘Heartbreak Hi’


Avec Sans

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.

Buy Avec Sans’ music from:

[Download] Avec Sans’ ‘When You Go’


Avec Sans

The incredible Avec Sans’s new single premièred this week on MTV’s new Scream TV series. That’s some top drawer syncing right there! If MTV aren’t actually going to play music videos anymore then the least they can do is feature the best new music in their TV show. Which they appear to have done. So fair play to them then. Pats on the back all round. Are we in for some more lovely melancholy moods wrapped up in crystal clean and catch ElectroPop. Yes we are. Get your hearing gear around When You Go.

Swoosh! That’s how When You Go begins. Once suitably swooshed you’ll be treated to a booming and majestic tune that sees Jack playing with an almost Dubby groove, albeit it a Dubby groove run through his humming RoboPop machines while Alice’s smoky vocal delivers that particular gloomy optimism that only she can. When You Go is possible the Sans’ most confident and self-assured track to date, a down-tempo masterpiece of cinematic SynthPop. There so much bombast in here, Jack’s thick production sounding as clean and full as ever, but never over-crammed and Alice’s performance rich with an emotional resonance. There’s a new EP on the way. Oh yes there is.

Avec Sans – When You Go

Avec Sans’ ‘When You Go’ is out now.

Buy Avec Sans’ music from:

[Download] Avec Sans’ ‘Resonate’



Drum roll please; it’s Avec Sans first track of the year! Well, they did that reMix for Young Summer back in January, but this is 2015’s first original. London’s finest ElectroPop duo have been on a pretty solid winning streak in the past couple of years, seemingly concentrating on quality over quantity. It’s a philosophy I can get behind. Remember when a band you like’s new release was an exciting event? When bands didn’t just throw up everything they ever do on SoundCloud in an attempt to ride a relevance wave until a new track from so-and-so just becomes a mundane everyday occurrence? No? Well I do; and Avec Sans, in releasing only the cream of their crop, only when perfectly honed, bring back a little of that new release excitement into liking a band. Anyhoo, here’s Resonate.

Opening up in constricting style with some abrasive, grinding, synth work being tempered by Alice’s sweet vocal. When he’s not cosplaying a younger me, Jack St. James has a knack for intertwining aggressive grooves with sparling melodies, bringing musical beauty out of an ominous pallet. Resonate is a thumping mid-tempo ElectroPop epic that it’s hard not to get swept up in as the starlight arpeggios swirl around an intimate and intoxicating vocal performance, all set to a hammerfall kick. We (the UK) should be dead proud of The Sans, we’re more than happy with them flying the flag for British ElectroPop. Represent.

Avec Sans – Resonate

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[Audio] Avec Sans reMix Young Summer’s ‘Severing Ties’


Young Summer

Severing Ties is the latest tune from DC based single Young Summer. It’s taken from her album Siren, and is a sprawling and moody slice of folky electronic in that particularly American vein. But more than that, the track has just been given a whopping (yes! whopping!) reMix treatment from our favourite London duo (we’d better duck for cover, ‘cos there’s a lot of London based duo’s we’ve just pissed off!); Avec Sans. There’s a play button below, use it!

Taking cues from the slightly retro vibe of the original, the Sanses serve up what is possibly their most 80s sounding tune to date (yeah, we know, a lot of people say Avec Sans sound quite 80s anyway, but they are all very very wrong. You can get ElectroPop that doesn’t sound 80s y’know!). Even their usual playful use of sampling sounds a bit SK-1 (that’s a compliment BTW) amidst the layers of lush, twisting synths. From the thick chords, to the skippy arpeggios, there’s buoyant nostalgia that permeates this reMix and elevates the original’s vocals into something entirely more euphoric.

♫ Young Summer – Severing Ties (Avec Sans reMix)

Young Summer’s Siren is our now.

Buy Young Summer’s music from:


[Download] Avec Sans cover Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’



No sooner had the UK’s ElectroPop finest, Avec Sans, unleashed their brand new single, All Of Time, than they another mighty slab of Synthy Pop goodness. This time in the form of a sparking cover of the legendary Kate Bush’s Running Up that Hill. Now, you’d kinda;’ expect the ‘Sans’ bristling Electro sound not to be so compatible with the ‘Bush’s ethereal Pop, but boy do they make it their own!

Give yourselves a few listens to this on repeat and you’ll start to forget what the original sounded like without all the spikey arpeggios and Alice’s dusky vocal performance. Subtle tribal bests power the track along, imparting an epic drive while James delivers waves of buzzing and shimmering synths. Alice doesn’t try to replicate Kate Bush’s tone, rather usurps the track for her own heartfelt style. Amazing work; like we said, they really make it their own.

Avec Sans – Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush Cover)

You can download Avec Sans’ All Of Time right now, the full reMix package is released 15th September with work from Mausi, backstroke. and Brightly Coloured

Buy Avec Sans’ music from:

[Video] Avec Sans’ ‘All Of Time’


Avec Sans   All Of Time   YouTube

Yay! There’s a new Avec Sans single in the offing! London’s finest ElectroPop duo are back with All Of Time a rousing, emotional SynthPop track with a surprising and powerful Indie sensibility. Piercing synths and Alice’s passionate vocal delivery wash over some tight dance beats on this one. Check out the shiny new video below.

Directed by Craig Murray, the clip is all stylish wind, lights, and Avec Sans close ups. Plus creepy subliminal beasties. Lovely stuff!

You can download Avec Sans’ All Of Time right now, the full reMix package is released 15th September with work from Mausi, backstroke. and Brightly Coloured

Buy Avec Sans’ music from:

[Download] Avec Sans reMixes HAERTS’ ‘Hemiplegia’



Now this is a very interesting combination. Carefree New York ElectroPoppers HAERTS being reMixed by out favourite London based duo Avec Sans. Not only are both acts superb, but they are almost trans-Atlantic twins. Avec Sans are a little more cerebral that HAERTS, but they both occupy a similar space on the music spectrum. Although HAERTS are distinctly Brooklyn sounding and Avec Sans are incredible British in their SynthPop they are almost counterparts. And both amazing. So this is bound to be awesome.

Taking on the lead track of HAERTS recent EP, Hemiplegia, Avec Sans gruff things up a bit with a relentless dance beat and growling synth bass. Avec Sans take the bouncy 80s-esque chorus and run with it, stripping it of it’s Indie pretensions and allowing it to fulfil it’s nostalgic SynthPop destiny. The soundtrack to our weekend, Avec Sans have delivered another stunning slice of ElectroPop that further cements their position as one of the UK’s brightest rising stars.

♫  HAERTS – Hemiplegia (Avec Sans reMix)

HAERTS’ Hemiplegia EP is out now.

Buy HAERTS’s music from:

[Download] Avec Sans reMixes Ecstasy’s ‘FRNDS 4 LYF’



Amazing London ElectroPop duo Avec Sans are turning their hands to reMxing more and more these days, which is a good thing, they always seem to come up with something that’s both Poppy and interesting, as they’ve done again with this reMix of British Indie-Duo, and generic-band-namers, Ecstasy’s tune FRNDS 4 LYF from their Exhale EP.

Chopping up the vocals and layering them over a machine beat and a popping hook, Avec Sans create a driving, energetic track with nods to both the harsher and the more melodic ends of the SynthPop spectrum. The lead synth riff alone is worth the price of admission, backed up by the rest of the track stomp-worthy Industrial grind tempered by an irresistible groove and a hint of a Post-Punk bassline. It;s a melting pot of references that all works perfectly in the end.

Ecstasy – FRNDS 4 LYF (Avec Sans reMix)

Ecstasy’s Exhale EP is out now.

Check out more from Ecstasy on SoundCloud.

[Video] Avec Sans’ ‘Shiver’


Avec Sans   Shiver   YouTube

Last week we brought you London ElectroPop duo Avec Sans’ long awaited (but worth it) new single, Shiver. This week we bring you the video! Next week we may bring you the tri-D hologram, who knows?

Frequent Avec Sans collaborator (and someone who gets Chvrches) Sing J. Lee directs the clip, so expect lines and shapes and stuff.

Avec Sans’ Shiver is out now.

Buy Avec Sans’ music from: