We find out more about electro-pop newcomers Avec Sans.
Alice Fox and Jack St James must be feeling the autumnal chill with their brand new pop track ‘Shiver’, which is exploding all of the musical blogosphere this month. The pair, who formed after realising they share an avid interest in the same bands, create electronic pop gems that have been infiltrated into the mainstream this year via the likes of CHVRCHES and MS MR.
The new single ‘Shiver’ is admittedly the pairs most “poppiest track to date” and the adjoining video displays to full effect the bands keen interest in the Arts. Designing footwear for Farfetch|Swear and applauded by Dolce & Gabbana’s Swide, Avec Sans are also a dab hand on Production duties, previously remixing for Swiss Lips and creating all tracks on their forthcoming releases.
Tonight they support Little Boots at Heaven, London.
So guys, tell us a bit about your journey, how you met and how you found yourselves here?
We originally met through friends, I (Alice) was still living in Manchester and Jack in London and I was down here a lot. We’d ended up at a lot of the same gigs and at Field Day it was suggested to us that we work together. It made perfect sense as our music taste overlaps so much, but it took someone pointing out the obvious.
Were there any previous projects previous to Avec Sans?
We’d both been involved in bands since we were in our early teens. Ending up at a place where you’re really happy with what you’re doing usually takes time and there are usually a few trial runs.
Has it been a compromise to create the overall aesthetic of the duo?
Not compromises as such as we’re both really happy, but it took a while to find what we sounded like. It was really important for both of us to go out into the world having that locked in. We spent a whole year writing and re-writing our first song, it was agonising at points. But once we put it out there we had a lot of interest from day one, so we were glad we’d taken the time to go out into the world knowing what we were.
Any in-house bust-ups?
We get on brilliantly. We’ve been in previous acts with some big egos and seriously, even if you are the most revered artist on the face of the planet, I don’t think there’s ever room for feeling you’re somehow special and that your “artistic genius” means you can treat others badly. We’re both pretty mellow, we watch box sets together, we hang out, we’re actually friends. I think you have to be as there’s no point spending all your time with a person who you wouldn’t choose to be friends with. That would make life miserable.
How did you react to the overwhelming reaction to the tracks you’ve put out?
It’s really nice when something you’ve laboured over gets positive feedback. Musicians are really lucky in that there is often an emotional response from people to their work. That’s an honour, not everyone gets a handclap for their work. By the same measure you have to take the rough with the smooth and we’re ready for that.
Tell us more about the EP and ‘Shiver’?
Shiver is our new single, perhaps our biggest pop track to date. There’s an accompanying video from director Sing J Lee who also works a lot with Chvrches and PINS. It incorporates 3D footage filmed on an Xbox camera which it’s been getting some tech write-ups for, he’s a very clever director and stylish guy who worked on the video for ‘Hold On’ too, hopefully it’ll be an ongoing relationship. The song itself is essentially a pop song about death.
When can we expect the album and how is it shaping up? Will it differ from your current work?
I don’t think it differs, it’s more of a continuation and extension of what we do, hopefully with some shades in there. As for ETA, I think it’s pretty much written, but it’s worth taking some time and making sure it’s done right.
You’re keen on playing around with other tracks for other artists too, who would you love to remix or produce for?
I think we’d like to remix acts like Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire and LCD Sound System. As much as anything, for the privilege of hearing the tracks broken down to their component parts. We’ve been asked to produce other acts already, but we’re really trying to focus on being the best acts we can be right now, we’re not where we want to be just yet.
Will you be producing any tracks on the album?
Jack and I write, produce and mix everything in our own home studio, thus far it’s only the mastering that we hand over. We’ve been really pleased with how our management have allowed us to continue doing this, they picked us up knowing the sounds we made and are happy with us to carry on as before. People often assume that I’m just a vocalist as I don’t play anything live, but I co-write the track and collaborate with Jack on the production of the tracks.
Your best gig to date thus far?
I think it was with Mausi at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen. We’re a good musical match, they’re lovely people and the energy in the room was brilliant, people were expecting to have a good time because of the music they make. We’re really looking forward to the Little Boots gig next week as I think it’s another really obvious match.
What else can we expect from you for the remainder of this year? How will you be celebrating Christmas and the festive period?
After the Little Boots gig, I do have a guest vocal/topline to write, but I think we’ll be channeling most of our energies for the rest of the year into general merriment and good cheer. So we’ll be taking trips to the North and Kent respectively and having a good time with family and friends.
Check out more from the band here
Words: Shane Hawkins