The London-based electro-pop duo, Avec Sans, which consists of vocalist/producer Alice Fox and electronics/producer Jack St. James, have released their debut album, Heartbreak Hi. While they gained traction from a remixed cover of “Perth” by Bon Iver, their straight, no frills electro-pop sound is catchy and infectious. Sometimes the nuances of synth-pop or electro-pop can be difficult to distinguish between artists, but Avec Sans takes from their contemporaries and still is able to create their own unique sound.
Their title track and first single, “Heartbreak Hi”, is an interesting blend that is toe-tapping regardless of the lyrical content, which is not bad by any stretch. It is influenced by their Scottish neighbors, CHVRCHES, the slightly more R&B feel of The Weeknd and the 1980s synth of Canadian superstar, LIGHTS. It is a radio-ready track that should be spinning worldwide.
While “We Are” has a slightly more in the vein of Phantogram. The track is more vocally challenging and relies less on electronics to carry the songs. Bringing balance between Alice Fox’s sweet, pop-friendly vocals and Jack St. James’s technical savvy can be a difficult task in a lot of cases, but “We Are” is a prime example of Avec Sans‘s capabilities.
And while there are numerous great original songs, one of the highlight tracks is still their cover of “Perth”. It is such a unique twist on a very subtle and heartfelt track by Bon Iver that the cover changes the tone and, to some extent, the meaning of the song.
Avec Sans has been able to take the better part of 3 years and mesh the best of electro-pop turning Heartbreak Hi into a solid debut album that is worthy of being part of a summer playlist. It is certainly is worth a listen.
Pick up Heartbreak Hi by Avec Sans on iTunes now.
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