Tuesday 14 June 2016


Avec Sans are an electropop duo comprising Alice Fox and Jack St. James and their new album Heartbreak Hi is as fresh a burst of synthpop goodness as you could possibly want. Like Priest with their self titled debut last year, Avec Sans have produced a wonderful, at times quite thrilling album that fans of electronic pop are bound to love.

Opener Even The Echoes sets the tone, mesmerising and enchanting, with Alice's vocals the focal point among swirling synths and vocal samples that bring to mind the likes of Gold Panda's You. The most recent single Heartbreak Hi follows and it's a cracking track. I was first alerted to this by Podcast, one of Glasgow's, if not the internet's, best music blogs and I've loved it since then. With a chorus that's as fine as you'll hear and music that's as good an example of clean, icy synthpop as you'd like, Heartbreak Hi is a track that deserves to be heard by everyone. 

The album is filled with electronic pop gems thought. Shiver is like a poppy Chvrches and We Are resembles Erasure's peak pop era rom The Innocents to Chorus. It's also an example of Alice's superb vocal range. To carry off songs that are this synthpop focussed you need to be able to sing them well and, throughout this album, the vocals never fail to grab your attention. 

There are moments on this album that you can't help fall in love with. Hold On, The Answer, All Of Time and Close My Eyes are all textbook electropop gems and each one is incredibly impressive. Close My Eyes has one of those choruses that, once you hear it, it will be a long, long time until you stop singing it.

All in all, Heartbreak Hi is an album that is going to appeal to all fans of electropop, synthpop, or, if you want to forget those labels, great pop music generally. My only criticism is that it's perhaps a track or two too long. Had this been trimmed down a little, it would be hard to argue with it being considered one of the best albums of the year thus far. Even as it stands though, Heartbreak Hi, is something special and it's certainly one to check out.

Heartbreak Hi by Avec Sans is available now through the band's Pledge Music site (http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/avec-sans). They are currently touring supporting Ladyhawke and then go on the road themselves. Check their site and Facebook page for details

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