Paris based duo, A.S, return in April with their second full-length entitled ‘Exile’. The 10 track album, consisting of Nick McRoberts and Idriss Halfaoui, is a mellow, soothing record, which humbly bears it’s weaknesses on its sleeve just as gracefully as it’s impresses with its high points. All making for a wonderfully personable and intimate collection of music.
Opening track, ‘Do What You Want’ introduces the simplistic yet critically effective sound of the piano, as it is gently overtaken by the sharper sound of guitar and drum combo. The unpolished vocal stance is comfortingly authentic, as the song rolls into a catchy yet passive chorus. ‘Time’ brings the duo together, as it branches into a much fuller sound – eerie piano chords and the untimely drum beats make for, despite the gloomy overtone, a powerful piece that prominently displays the emotional feeling behind every note on the album.
Managing to so easily switch from the delicate piano excerpts to electronic blips and full band sounds is testament to the creativity and diversity of A.S. ‘Exile’ is an album that can’t be rushed. Despite the clear attempt to capture many emotions and feelings within the songs, it all boils down to a very similar, tranquil, frame of mind.
‘Invisible Kiss’ is your typical love song, which seemingly encapsulates every emotional thought, during the writing process. The timed pauses and sorrowful vocals manage to portray the sentiment far better than the poignant lyrics could ever do.
‘Why The Hell Not?’ covers a similar topic, in a far more upbeat way – The continued use of the full band sound, thanks to Raphael Mercier’s drum inserts, adds to the whole sound of the piece. The album does run the risk of being that little bit too lifeless, but in all the right places, it manages to pick itself up and move smoothly along.
Ending on a high (or low, however you want to look at it) with an acoustic cover of ‘Reasonable Doubts’. Standing out from the rest of the album, with it’s distinguished vocals and welcoming talent on guitar – Every part of the song (gently) jumps out. Something which can get missed on some earlier tracks.
The album is released internationally on the 15th of April, through Australian label Inedible Records.
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