Cold City finds the Larimer siblings that make up Eux Autres maturing as musicians and songwriters. Where Hell Is Eux Autres included many viable tracks, the recordings were stiff. Still, despite the slightly lower production value, many of those older songs remain true favorites; and Cold City packs in several new favorites as well.
Included in this mix are “Molly” and “When I’m Up”. The first has catchy hooks in the chorus and includes a heavy reverb in vocals. The latter sees Heather taking the lead vocals in the verses with Nicholas joining during the chorus. In Hell Is Eux Autres, it was noticeable that the band was simply two, while Cold City gives the impression of a larger group—it’s not due to added instruments or a choir of vocals, instead the sound is simply fuller.
It is also important to note that despite the matured songwriting style, Eux Autres maintains their heavy 70s French pop influences. And that can be seen in “Gratte-Ciel”, the sole song sung in that language (as opposed to several tracks with French vocals on Hell Is Eux Autres). “Gratte-Ciel” also finds Eux Autres at their most pop-ridden, and in a minor sense, their most rewarding.
“Anne Boleyn” includes slightly sparser percussion from Heather that hints of their earlier work yet finds the band in their most mellow and melodic, which can be attributed to the inclusion of strings and keys, as well as the lighter edge in Heather and Nicolas’ vocals. “The City All To Himself” harmonizes the siblings for one of the most lovable melodies.
Overall, Cold City blends the lovable aspects of 70s French pop with the indie rock of today’s more twee-focused artists. And it finds Happy Happy Birthday To Me with yet another phenomenal release in 2007, adding Cold City to an already powerful lineup including Fleeting Frequencies by Patience Please, Albatross by Fishboy, and Unclever by Keith John Adams, among others.
This review was originally published November 29, 2007 on the old version of FensePost. Eux Autres recently released a new single called You’re Alright. It can be purchased from the Eux Autres website.
HHBTM [CD, 2007]
1. The Deadball Era
4. When I’m Up
5. Anne Boleyn
6. The Town That Never Was
7. The City All To Himself
8. Graceful Exit
9. Collision Theory
10. Park Bench Vacation