Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer, of Savoir Adore, convey churning and burning - some people on the edge of their lives, ready to throw their chips and cards to the center of the table and fall away, backwards. It won't be a walking away. It's not about getting out alive. The push off from the table, from existence, is a graceful exit. It won't be a violent quitting, just a sigh and a cast off into the fog. One protagonist, in particular, is seriously considering, padding forlornly up a set of creaking steps to the bath tub to draw some warm water and they're going to bring along a razor. It sounds like a peaceful, though heartrending offing - an end that will bring forth a predictable stream of weepy outpouring, friends and loved ones just hanging on to sanity. It sounds gentle and it sounds reasoned through, as if this decision wasn't hastily made.
Then the save happens and the horns come in a little later, suddenly with something like a triumph needing to be blared, loud enough to be recognized anywhere. Muro sings the line and plays the part of this savior with the words, "But before I let the years go, you called and let me know it's not too late to move on," the distraught, but willing to stop her blood in its tracks young woman, this close to doing it. At this moment, the sunlight seems to burst into the room some and blanket the floor and all of the furnishings with happy yellowness.
There are countless close calls or considerations of the consequences of such a permanent action in the songs of this Brooklyn band, where these concerns are the whispers of candle smoke and they sound less desperate and more exhausted as if there is a last resort in this very moment. People are looked at as being gone without a trace, the same with caring and love and Muro and Hammer sound as if they are the soothing guides, just obeying wishes and telling these stories as they've been passed on to them.
Savoir Adore songs are the looks of sad cheerfulness, as if the eyes, the cheeks and mouth have been resigned to the hardness of the struggle, of needing to find inspiration and reasoning. There are lost people in these songs - people whose sense of hopefulness is hanging on by a thin, thin thread, as if it's just an animal ready to be spooked full of shivers and fearful flight. There is imagery about being deep in a garden, where "we change," and there's a sense that there's a different consciousness that can be tapped into, as some sort of escape from the broken parts of these physical lives. They sing, "In the darkness, we have time to pretend," and so for Savoir Adore, the rooms are always dimmed almost to blindness and there is where they find their will.
*Essay originally published February, 2010