Savoir Adore: Our world is fantasy-based
Photo courtesy of the artist
Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro seem to have crafted their own unique little dreamscape -- with their music acting as both the introduction and the driving force to the world behind the curtain. Together, Hammer and Muro have been creating their own brand of shimmering power-pop that has slowly evolved from playful experimentation to polished production since 2007.
With the release of their third full-length album, Our Nature, Savoir Adore seems to have firmly cemented themselves as leaders in the "fantasy-pop" category. Over the course of the album's 14 tracks, the band takes delightful turns at '80s-influenced synths and dance beats, while Muro's sharp-crystal vocals act as an anchoring guide through the sound. At times, Our Nature feels like taking a step into that peculiar moment between dreaming and waking, when reality is still suspended and consciousness is slowly returning, and it's a wonderful escape.
Gimme Noise caught up with Hammer ahead of the band's show at the Cedar Cultural Center tonight to talk about the evolution of the band's sound and what lies ahead for the duo.
Gimme Noise: This is your third album. Tell me about how your sound has changed over the six years you've been performing as Savoir Adore?
Paul Hammer: It's changed a lot, and a lot of that is because we started this project as an experiment. We started just to see what would happen if we wrote and recorded together, and because of that, we've continued to develop our sound, and it's definitely changed over time as a sort of lo-fi synth sound. That's what it started as, anyway -- like, sampled sounds, and it sort of became more like a polished pop sound, just in terms of our sort of natural desire and experimentation. When we started it was like, "Let's see what we can do and get it down quick," and this album we spent over two years recording it and polishing it.
Has life changed for you since you first started the band?
Oh, yeah. The biggest change is even when we released our last record [The Adventures of Mr. Pumpernickel and the Girl with Animals in Her Throat], we hadn't really toured much, and we were still in the process of figuring out what we wanted to do because we're both still involved in other things as well. The biggest change was that we started to tour a lot more. We went to Europe twice, we toured with Oh, Land! and Lights in the States... That's been the most interesting shift, because that wasn't the lifestyle we... we just didn't do that. And now, we're much more comfortable touring. This is our longest tour ever, and we're really excited about it.
This is the re-release of Our Nature, which you originally put out into the world in October 2012. What's the idea behind re-releasing the album?
Basically, we ended up recording the record on our own, and after a while we wanted to see if someone would release it, and nothing was clicking, so we just released it ourselves and did the Kickstarter campaign and all that, and as a result of pushing it ourselves, a record label did decide to pick us up. It's funny because we met with [Nettwerk Music Group] in the fall of last year... It's sort of our dream to work with a record label that's really organized and has an international team, and as soon as that was a possibility, we really wanted to make it happen and do it right. We added one new song called "Beating Hearts," and so the idea is to release the record to a much broader audience.
You're going on tour, and you have quite a few dates lined up. Are there any places you're most excited to visit?
Oh yeah. The West Coast especially. We've never toured there. We did one show in L.A. last year, but personally, I'm so excited about it. I've never been to Portland or San Francisco, so this first leg of the tour are mostly cities that none of us have even been to, and it's the most beautiful time of the year. Also, on the way back I'm really excited to play Austin when it's not SXSW, because we've done that for five years, and not that we don't enjoy it, but it burns you out.
You guys are based in Brooklyn, and you make music there. I'm wondering if you can tell me about some of the differences you see in crowds and music scenes around the country?
You know what's so funny is that we talk about it all the time -- crowds change, and it obviously affects the overall experience, and it's so hard to like... it changes a lot. Austin, the smaller cities we visit -- or a city that's smaller to us... We played in Atlanta, and to us and we didn't think we'd have a lot of people there, and there weren't a lot there, just like 40 or 50, but we had a really enthusiastic crowd and it was the best time. I think it's a combination of a lot of things. Obviously if you're playing at midnight on Saturday versus if you play at 7 p.m. on a Monday... it's different. As far as the audiences, they always differ, but I don't know if I could pin down any city patterns or anything.
Are you satisfied creatively? What's next?
Ooh! I think satisfied is a hard way to describe it. I think happy creatively is a better way. We released this record, and already we're like, "So for the next record, we want to do this differently," or "We want to try this." It's a little bit fantasy-based, our world -- a little bit of supernatural undertones to everything we do, so we've talked about doing an art installation at our studio in New York with some of the characters we've created. Taking the music and relating it to art direction at live shows to heighten the experience for us and the audience, that's something else. We're just continuing to experiment across the board.
Savoir Adore and Sea Wolf will be playing Thursday, May 30, at the Cedar Cultural Center. Doors at 7 p.m. $15 day of show. All ages. Info here.
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