Savoir Adore may be the most exciting accident to happen to music in recent years. The decision by friends Paul Hammer (vocals, guitar) and Deidre Muro (vocals, keyboards) to collaborate their musical talents in late 2006, on a challenge to create a project in just one weekend resulted in the experimental concept EP, The Adventures Of Mr Pumpernickel & The Girl With Animals In Her Throat, and, after subsequently signing with Cantora Records and deciding the world needed more magic, Savoir Adore was fully born. In The Wooded Forest, their debut full-length, is a gateway into an enchantingly musical world where nature and science collide.
The quirkily titled, thudding beat-driven ‘The Scientific Findings Of Dr Rousseau’ makes for an intriguing introduction to this unusual locale. Hammer and Muro sing in harmony, switching to a jolting chant before the track does an about-turn and transforms into something else entirely. And, in doing so, the song provides a stellar example of what Savoir Adore do best, namely fusing leftfield structures with a charming melody to create beautiful and imaginative music.
A strong continuation of pop/folk/electronic hybrids follow, not least the excellent single ‘We Talk Like Machines’, which coasts along on a driving beat and subtle electronics before unleashing a swirling chorus, effortlessly levitating the listener to the dancefloor. Ensuring that the floor remains filled, ‘MERP’ opens with a bouncy beat and a frantic lead vocal from Hammer. And, while initially the song may be mistaken for a misstep, after several spins – and particularly when it’s irresistible, disco-infused breakdown erupts – it’s very hard to hold on to any negativity.
On a lighter note, Muro’s vocals shine on ‘Early Bird’, an airy ballad that invites the listener to share in her hope, complete with a transcendent chorus intent on leaving the dark and cold behind and embracing moving forward. Album closer ‘The Garden’ similarly entrances, opening with a beautiful guitar, soft drumming and dual vocals, before raising the tempo just slightly on the second verse for a more intense finale. Other notable tracks include indie-pop gem ‘Honestly’ and first single ‘Bodies’, which Savoir Adore fans will likely already be well-versed on. Here, addictive dance beats, hook-laden vocals and an invigorating chorus are bound together with Muro’s anthemic cooing.
At fourteen tracks long, there is the tendency for attentions to wane slightly toward the end as several songs struggle to deliver the same impact as those previous. Though, given the strength of those aforementioned songs, this is hardly surprising. Having expanded to a six-piece live band since recording this album, the prospect of what Savoir Adore may unleash next is well worth considering. Invention is clearly the band’s strongest attribute, along with the ability to infuse this with spiky and melodic accessibility. It’s exciting, unpredictable stuff, and with the promise that Muro and Hammer are already back in the studio, it’s hopefully only a matter of time before Savoir Adore dazzle again.
[Cantora; September 6, 2010]