En Attendant Ana


On their latest album, Principia, Parisian band En Attendant Ana swing towards a classic pop sound, culling rhythm and aesthetics from heroes Broadcast, Electralane, and Stereolab, while still keeping things tied to their breezier indie pop past. For the new album the band has been re-configured, adding in guitarist Max Tomasso and bassist Vincent Hivert to the mix. The pair add a more dynamic energy to songwriter Margaux Bouchaudon’s works. The rhythm section shines on their new songs, letting the propulsion add a little nod to the neck as the record works its way into the brain. Meanwhile, Tomasso’s guitars aim for a less is more approach, shaving few jangles from the mix in favor of pastel-plated angles.

Longtime member and multi-instrumentalist Camille Frechou gets more opportunities to add her shade as well, with the band pairing that bounce with her sax and trumpet accents. The combination of bubbling tempos and colorful arrangements bring the band closer than ever to their ‘90s and early-aughts touchstones. What’s really elevated the album is the band’s sense of space. The quintet never feels the need to stuff everything into the well at once, adding a slight chill around Margaux’s vocals, letting them hang like breath on November air. On the title track, “Fools and Kings,” “Same Old Story,” or the gorgeous centerpiece “Wonder” that awareness of space pays off with songs that twist the listener into woolen knots only to have Bouchaudon untie them with a word. Principia is an album that’s constantly worth going back to, a pop puzzle full of corridors, nooks, and niches for the listener to explore.

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