Revolver

Trois Voix

Feb 01, 2009 Winter 2009 - Anticipated Albums of 2009
Bookmark and Share


The Parisian members of Revolver—Ambroise Willaume, Christophe Musset, and Jérémie Arcache—are not native English speakers. When they speak, their sentences often succumb to the occasional slip in verb tense or syllable emphasis. There are even instances of hesitation and momentary pause when the search for the optimal phrase leaves them somewhat at a loss.

Yet despite these oratory missteps, the English-singing trio’s harmony-infused songs convey their thoughts effortlessly on songs that are as universal as they are personal; the band members have mastered the language more than they give themselves credit for.

“Sometimes people ask us why we don’t sing in French, [since] it seems more logical,” says Musset. “But I think our lyrics are not too complicated even for a French audience to [understand]. It’s not our lyrics that impress the audience first.”

With an intimacy that conjures notions of a Beach Boys bedroom rehearsal relying on nothing more than a piano, a guitar, and a cello, Revolver are able to produce a bevy of simple, gentle pop arrangements and layer them in the vocal charm of some lost Lennon/ McCartney composition.

“We spend a lot of time working on the harmonies,” says Willaume. “We’re perfectionists. We always begin our shows with a countdown. We count aloud. In the beginning, it’s only three voices. It’s just the perfect beginning for a show, because it’s really the soul of our music, the essence of our songs.”

Growing up in a country that is steeped in strong classical music traditions, getting exposure to pop music was a gradual process for the three friends. Willaume and Arcache were raised under the heavy teachings of classic compositions as students in the Notre Dame de Paris choir. As Willaume and Musset reached their teens, the two eventually began exploring the musical influences of The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and even Elliott Smith. The pair learned to play songs and soon began writing their own. Arcache rounded out the group’s lineup when he was tapped for his skill on the cello, despite the fact that the classically trained friend had never listened to a pop song in his life.

With a self-titled EP already released, the group has been hard at work putting the finishing touches on an as-of-yet-untitled full-length debut that hopefully will hit shelves this spring. While the band was able to work with a drummer for the first time, adding some punch that wasn’t available before, Willaume says that the biggest challenge was maintaining the core simplicity of their music. “[Revolver] was created by just playing in one room with a piano, a cello, a guitar, and three voices, without any amps, just acoustics and the balance between every voice,” he explains. “When we started three years ago…it became a very important part in our sound to just play the essential parts.”

While the trio of friends hope to make an appearance in the States when they eventually tour their new material and are confident in their ability to fill larger venues down the line, they say they are in no rush to abandon the comfort of  intimate spaces. “We really want to continue to play in very small places and play in acoustic conditions because it’s the essence of our style,” says Willaume. “It’s where our songs sound best.”



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Bethansen
April 24th 2009
10:22pm

I’m interested in this band, but I can’t find anything on them. This is the only thing on American websites that I’ve found. Help?

Frostified
April 28th 2009
9:56pm

You’ve probably already been to these but…

http://www.myspace.com/popdechambre
http://www.revolvermusic.tv/

I think we were the first American mag to write about Revolver.

Shoe Italian
August 5th 2009
6:00pm

I met Ambroise one night at a bar in Chicago..he was so down to earth he turned me into a huge fan.  We love you in Chitown Ambroise!