|We Were Evergreen — Towards (2014)|
We Were Evergreen — Towards
¬•••¦ French group fail to impress with whiny indie-pop, with their nostalgic, feelgood electro beats.
Location: Paris, France
Album release: May 5th, 2014
Record Label: Mi7/Island
01 /// 0:48
02 False Start 3:37
03 Daughters 4:07
04 Quicksand 3:41
05 Belong 3:28
06 Antlers 4:23
07 Best Thing 3:07
08 Overnight 3:32
09 Dormant 3:19
10 Tambourine Like a Crown 3:57
11 Golden Fire 3:45
12 Kilmore's End 4:16
13 Cargo Cult (Bonus Track) 3:16
14 Eggs (Bonus Track) 3:34
15 Eighteen (Bonus Track) 3:29
℗ 2014 Universal Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited ©
Written by: Fabienne Débarre / Michael Liot / William Serfass
≥▲ Michael Liot — vocals, ukulele, acoustic guitar, charango, banjo, trumpet
≥▲ Fabienne Débarre — vocals, synths, xylophone, harmonica
≥▲ William Serfass — vocals, percussions, rhythm loop, bass, electric guitar
By Larry Day | posted on 4 May 2014 | Score: ****
≥ Les trois Parisians We Were Evergreen have been grinding the live circuit for half a decade now, all this time sustaining their live sets with EPs and solitary tracks rather than releasing a record. Their method has worked just fine however, and they’ve cultivated a solid following with tunes like Baby Blue and shimmering indie–pop that’s punctuated by mysterious “llama nails”, kazoos and glockenspiels. If you’re unacquainted with the threesome, think Theme Park or a less guitar–y Two Door Cinema Club, and you’ll be close enough.
≥ They’ve been known to dabble in the realms of twee, and softly–softly vox against French jazz basslines and toy pianos doesn’t necessarily deny that notion, but they’re not saccharine. We Were Evergreen, like Pomplamoose, are sincere in their sweetness; they’re just dusted with sugar rather than encrusted with an E–number shell. It’s an honest, affable quaintness.
≥ As unavoidably patronising as it’ll sound, they’re nice — really nice — and this translates into their sound. Even on Dormant, which tilts towards darkness and snark, the three-piece ensure they’re about as mean as a marshmallow delivering the daily kittengrams. Primarily, this is done via the dulcet tones of Michael Liot and Fabienne Débarre, ducking and weaving between each other like courting doves, but it’s hard to ignore the effects that a few well–placed xylophones or uke strums as well.
≥ For this debut foray into albumdom, We Were Evergreen have very much embraced synthpop. Their lead gambit, Daughters, thrives on looped ostinatos and swollen bouts of reverb to create a strangely dreamy neo–disco ditty, replete with wah-wah bass wobs and the pitter-patter of shuffling snare. Antlers is electro reggae–pop. Bounding on offbeat rhythms and mellifluous vocal hooks, it’s a light’n’airy doozy with lilting promenade panache. It’s for trotting around cities among dawning sun and verdant riverbanks — perhaps Paris In The Spring? Though the synths are felt (especially on Golden Fire), it’s not that the band are all up in anyone’s face with their Moogs. It is however a noticeable sharpening of the focus, which ultimately lends a weird, retro quasi–steampunk/Amélie with robots feel. Super neat–o.
≥ Quicksand is probably the closest to a ballad that We Were Evergreen nod at. In the percussion, it’s a mechanical menace. There are choral harmonies and a synthline that sounds like a clockwork music box losing it’s wind–up. It’s a gorgeous change of timbre, and proves that We Were Evergreen have more than one trick up their sleeve. ≥ Another cut that hints at another side to the band is Best Thing. Doused in banjos and falsetto melodies, it’s a track that verges on glum, but even with the chorus of: “After all, you could’ve been the best thing… you could’ve been the best thing for me,” implying a less-than-successful romantic entanglement, it’s happy. At times like this on the record a sudden wave hits you; Towards is such an inherently peppy affair, that when you’re grooving with glee, you’ll occasionally feel bad for the accidental schadenfreude that occurs when you boogie to their misfortune.
≥ We Were Evergreen’s first full–length has been in the works a long time, but thankfully they’ve not disappointed. It displays a surprising maturity — given their propensity for twee — which allows them to dabble in a variety of genres with guile and experiment with mood swings. Fortunately, all these madcap tangents pay off amazingly, and we’re left with a sublime, varied LP that’s a perfect accompaniment to the impending sun–pecked skies. If you’re looking for this summer’s car journey OST or beach–worthy soundtrack, Towards is the one to go for. (http://www.musicomh.com/)
Review by Matt Collar; Score: ***½
≥ We Were Evergreen's full-length debut, 2014's Towards, is a buoyant, delicately experimental mix of folk-pop and eclectic electronic music. With a sound based around the melodic drive of guitars and keyboards as well as ukulele and harmonized vocals, it would easy to dismiss the Parisian–born/U.K.–based band as purveyors of friendly, light indie pop. That is, of course, if their album wasn't so accomplished and, in its own way, adventurous. Here, We Were Evergreen showcase their knack for delivering engaging, literate lyrics and jazzy, intricate arrangements that somehow find a middle ground between Tom Tom Club–esque '80s new wave and Fleet Foxes–influenced harmonized folk, not to mention Death Cab for Cutie's poignant and twee balladry. Lead vocalist/guitarist Michael Liot has a pleasant, clear–toned style that brings to mind frontmen of such similarly inclined acts as Bombay Bicycle Club's Jack Steadman and Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig. Of course, as he often harmonizes vocals with his bandmates, keyboardist Fabienne Débarre and bassist William Serfass, much of Towards has more of a group–oriented feel. Musically, the group shifts from melodic, Squeeze-influenced blue–eyed soul ("False Start"), to dancey, synthy Afro–pop ("Daughters"), to loungy midtempo dance cuts ("Best Thing") with easy aplomb. Elsewhere, we get the poignant romance of tracks like "Overnight" and the sugary exuberance of the whistle and clap–heavy "Tambourine Like a Crown." Ultimately, on Towards, We Were Evergreen have moved slightly left of the indie pop center and achieved something quite interesting and enjoyable. (www.allmusic.com)
Gavin Haynes; Score: 5/10
By CHRISTIAN COTTINGHAM; May 6th, 2014; Score: 6
By Sarah Joy, 07 May 2014; Score: 7/10
Reviewer: Charlie Ralph; Score: **
Press: Toast PR — Print: email@example.com // Online: firstname.lastname@example.org
Agent: ATC Live — email@example.com
INTERVIEW, writes Al Horner:
:: http://www.phoenixmag.co.uk/culture/we-were-evergreen-forever-young/ // INTERVIEW II. INTERVIEW WITH WE WERE EVERGREEN: NURSERY RHYMES, PEANUT BUTTER AND “WEIRD” FRENCH QUOTAS
Jade Cuttle | July 25, 2012 | With special thanks to Michael Liot and Becky Cuttle.
About previous release:
≥ The second release from Idle Fret is by We Were Evergreen, who, armed with
an electronic toy box of instruments and coated in layers of indelible charm, are
a bright, witty and fiercely talented pop group.
≥ We Were Evergreen embody a youthful energy, yet as playful and sweet as their music might be, the tracks on this single are sophisticated, highly intelligent and years beyond their collective age. A perfect example of the band’s excitable, playful attitudes, Baby Blue’s three piece harmonies intertwine with toy piano, a cheerful horn section and some glitchy electronics.
▲ “Wide–eyed trio We Were Evergreen possess such child–like wonderment and infectious joie de vivre that they could comfortably out–twee even the most gingham–clad, cupcake–making, floral dress–wearing, poetry–writing Belle and Sebastian fan you could possibly find on these shores… An utterly joyous live experience” — The Fly
▲ “Blending English folk melodies with samba rhythms — despite all hailing from France — We Were Evergreen are the rarest of things; a band with something new and brilliant to offer” — The Evening Standard
▲ We Were Evergreen — 2010
▲ Flings — 2010
▲ Leeway — 2013
▲ Towards — 2014
Singles: Peak positions, FRA
▲ 2012 "Baby Blue" —
▲ 2013 "Leeway" #6
▲ 2014 "Daughters" —
|We Were Evergreen — Towards (2014)|