Look closely at Savoir Adore’s catalog and you’ll find various forms of their sound defining name, which in the French language means, “to know love.” At first glance, the music diffuses a dream-like romanticism with a synth pop frame, conjuring images that leave little room for strife. But to know love is to know both its highest and lowest expressions, and the Brooklyn band has never shied away from exploring more complicated territory. A philosophy rather than a moniker, Savoir Adore’s work speaks like an unfiltered examination of the heart.
On the band’s forthcoming record Full Bloom, change is the guiding principle, an apt theme for a band that has certainly gone through its fair share of transformation. Originally founded by Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro, the two were the main creative force behind the band’s first two albums. But it was during the making of the last record, 2016’s The Love That Remains that the two parted ways. The aftermath was a collaborative affair, with various songwriters and co-writers joining Paul to finish off the record.
After the album’s release and a successful slew of live dates, Paul continued writing songs with one of the record’s featured vocalists and writers, Lauren Zettler. Full Bloom is the result of the pair’s creative chemistry and in many ways, their partnership is at the heart of the record. “As soon as Lauren and I started writing songs together, it just made sense,” says Paul. “The whole record I wanted to write a lot more personally, and Lauren really connected on that level. [She] pulled it out of me to get a little bit more intimate, even in terms of trusting someone to write with again. I think every band goes through this in different ways but there’s a certain level of trust and intimacy that is so specific to collaborations and partnerships. For Lauren and I, once we started writing songs for this record, it fell into place and a little bit of our experience became the music itself. This record is completely us. Every single song on this record, Lauren and I wrote together in the same room at the same time.”
The intimacy that Paul and Lauren built is apparent from the start, with the acoustic beginning of album opener “The Hum.” “As soon as we finished it we knew this had to start the record because it’s a statement. Even though it’s not the loudest in-your-face song, I find it to be the most impactful emotionally. It’s like a mission statement for what’s coming next.”
If “The Hum” is an introduction, then what immediately follows is the thesis for the entire project. In Paul’s words, “‘The Hum,’ is like the overture; we want that to act as a way to pull people in, emotionally and spiritually, and then ‘Bloom’ is the message.” As one half of the record’s title, “Bloom” anchors everything that comes after. With literal connotations of renewal and the promise of new beginnings, there’s a feeling that the track is a window into the band’s own feeling of metamorphosis.
“As soon as we were writing it, it became the perfect opportunity to explore this next level of what it means to transform and from there it became this thread throughout the rest of the record where we didn’t just examine change from a literal, physical standpoint but it was also very much about the passing of time.”
After “Bloom,” there comes bittersweet anthems (“When the Summer Ends”), love songs (“Black and Blue”), dance numbers (“Body Heat”) and coming of age anecdotes (“Late to the Party”). But paired with every simple labeling, is a more nuanced sonic and lyrical interpretation. While “Black and Blue” certainly sounds like a love song, it speaks to the deeper emotional wounds that so often accompany relationships. And yes, “Body Heat” definitely has a certain sensual groove, but it’s also about the “honest clarity you get with really trusting yourself.”
Like most of Savoir Adore’s work, the album ends hopeful, with “It’s Gonna be Alright.” “[It’s] almost like this final message. It’s probably the simplest song that we’ve ever written but it perfectly sums up the idea that change is going to happen, life is going to move forward and it’s going to be alright.” Even in the most tumultuous of times, the optimism that formed the band a decade ago, continues to shine through: “I’ve always had this hope in humanity… and it really feels more and more important every year.”
Full Bloom is out April 5th on Nettwerk Records, marking ten years since the band released their first full-length album, In the Wooded Forest. Over the last decade, Savoir Adore has become an indie staple, sharing the stage with acts like MGMT, Charli XCX, St. Lucia, X Ambassadors and more. Racking up millions of plays on both YouTube and Spotify, the band shows no signs of slowing down. With much of their time in between records spent on the road in Europe, South America and the US, Savoir Adore will continue to showcase their infectious sound on stages around the world.
Every new listen of Full Bloom reveals a more complicated layer of meaning, signaling a real evolution for the band. With a solid partnership at its core, Savoir Adore have emerged with a record that is personal and universal, intimate and expansive.