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Quentin Sauvé – Enjoy the View Review

Who needs a full band when you can layer your sadness into a dream folk beauty?

What does Quentin Sauvé sound like?

A one-man electro-acoustic looping machine of nostalgic melancholy.

The review of Quentin Sauvé – Enjoy the View

Back with his sophomore album ‘Enjoy the View’, Quentin Sauvé is a singer-songwriter who revels in his simplicity of design. His mixture of acoustic and electric guitars forms the spine of his indie rock sound but don’t expect a full band backing him. Instead, he lets his melodic instruments control the tempo and rhythm of the album. In keeping things bare, Quentin keeps things raw. It makes the album a touching experience.

photo of Quentin Suave
Quentin Sauvé – photo by Florian Renault

There are largely two sides to Quentin Sauvé’s music. It keeps you firmly on the melancholy and thoughtful side of indie rock. There is the rolling, ethereal and quieter side, that appears almost ethereal and folksy. Then you have more bombastic power surges of voice and guitar, often backed by a forceful shoegazing wall of synth noise. The beauty of the album is that most songs seem to move from one side to the other as part of their story.

Opener ‘Reflections’ is an exception to this rule. It revels in light acoustic guitar skipping around guitar tapping rhythms and light and almost Christopher Cross levels of clean vocals. It doesn’t matter if it is a lower or higher register, Quentin easily flickers and soars over guitar work. However, the next trio of tracks showcase Quentin Sauvé at his best. ‘Tunnel’, ‘Enjoy the View’ and ‘Horizon’ all start off with a lighter version of their riffs and melodies and get progressively angsty and moody over time. With little percussion, the foot-stomping drama and moody scenes are created purely by turning up the electric noise on the guitars and synths. Meanwhile, Sauvé’s voice transitions from angelic to emotionally charged. Add in some subtle synth work and everything feels more dramatic.

‘See You Soon’ starts to see Quentin branch out into other areas of indie rock. Then track moves towards an indie/dream pop vibe with slowed-down dance synths pulsating over the chorus. It reminds me of indie bands like Clock Opera, Duologue and Yes, We Mystic at times – where guitar and synth are interchangeable and the emotions are boiling over. ‘Nostalgia’ is the sole piano-led piece – rustic and downbeat. ‘Nostalgia out of melancholia sings Quentin and I think that’s a key lyric for the album and its thought trail. The ragged bluesy swagger of ‘Loophole’ is cinematic and rugged with a “is it a guitar, a bag of coins, or both” percussive smash that drives the second half of the track.

Whilst the album isn’t slow, we await for the penultimate track ‘Empty Promises’ to have a really speedy riff take charge. As the guitar rumbles away, Quentin’s long tail vocal delivery and subtle backing vocals allow the piece to glide effortlessly. The commitment to a lack of real drums of full “plugged” production really hits home here. You never really miss the other band instruments because of the wall of sound Quentin Sauvé creates. Closing track ‘Random Streets’ showcases this perfectly as his guitars and synths create a dramatic swaying ballad that’s as electric as any full band effort. Layers of electric guitar noodling over faint vocals, ethereal synths and an electro-acoustic guitar bass – it feels powerful enough to sustain the epic seven and half minute conclusion.

I love that this album is dripping in sombre ennui and bitter nostalgia. It is as if Quentin Sauvé is looking back over a catalogue of mistakes and commenting on the things he’d rather omit the next time around. Yet, whilst it is a sombre album, it’s viewed through a certain magical excitement. The guitar often sounds like a mystery mirror shimmer that offers optimism and excitement through the sadness but it is just out of reach. This balance of emotions is something I find French indie artists do exceptionally well and Quentin is another master of it. I can enjoy the view from here, but I can enjoy the sound much better.

Recommended track: Horizon

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Quentin Sauvé - Enjoy the View



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