We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
There are so many inspired indie-oriented bands coming out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that it’s almost impossible to keep track of them. Though the scene is often decried for being too homogenous and glib, the neighborhood has had a gravitational pull on first rate singer/songwriters from around the country for years, and it shows no sign of letting up. But despite acclaimed releases from area inhabitants like Bishop Allen, Amazing Baby, and White Rabbits this year, newcomers Savoir Adore shouldn’t be overlooked. The group released an EP last year called The Adventures of Mr. Pumpernickel and the Girl with Animals in Her Throat, which told the story of a university professor working on the edge of a magical forest who confronts an obsessive student and a woodland nymph. That work was conceived on a train ride primary creative forces Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer took to the latter’s upstate New York childhood home, where they do their recording in a studio built by his father, Jan Hammer. Like their EP, Savoir Adore’s full-length debut, In The Wooded Forest, is full of whimsy, and its songs are set in a fanciful patch of thicket not unlike the environs of their studio. The album’s first track, “The Scientific Findings of Dr. Rousseau” describes the midnight ruminations of the title character, who muses on “life after death” and “death after life.” “We Talk Like Machines” speaks of its characters’ “electric dreams,” while “MERP” concerns a grand, debauched celebration before a war breaks out in the next song, “Sarah’s Secret.” The music is as enchanted as the storytelling—bursting with energy, it features swirling guitars, giddy keys, and ecstatic harmonies, with Muro and Hammer taking turns on the mic. Now and then the work stops for a breath, like on tracks such as “The Wooded Forest,” which contains little more than soothing, ’80s-style synth and Muro’s repeated chants of “Oh, ohhhhhh.” The album’s storyline is never fully realized, and it sometimes gets too cute for its own good; the cringe-worthy title of “Transylvanian Candy Patrol,” for example, taints an otherwise thoughtful ballad. Most of the time, however, Savoir Adore demonstrate the chops and charisma of a genuine indie-pop talent, one that should be able to stand up to any of its better-known neighbors.
Savoir Adore plays the Black Cat on Thursday, Aug. 27.