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Freda chats to Avec Sans about their release of ‘Heartbreak Hi’

Enigmatic London-based duo, AVEC SANS have unveiled the title track Heartbreak Hi(released March 18th) from their forthcoming, debut album (June 3rd). With a distincitve electro-pop sound of cascading synths melodies and irresistable hooks AVEC SANS sound remains consistently on-point.

Premiering the track through ASOS the young duo have the world at their feet. Soaring vocals from Alice Fox merged with the daydreaming electro producition of Jack St. James creates one hell of a killer combination. ‘It’s a classic tale of heartbroken woe, that phase post break-up where you think you see the person everywhere you go,’ says Alice.

The duo are gearing up to take on the SxSW stages come March taking their kinetic live show to the American audience. It looks like 2016 is shaping up to be a big year for the young AVEC SANS.

First of all, congratulations on the upcoming release of your first album Heartbreak Hi.  Can you feel the anticipation growing? 

We definitely feel the pressure! As vinyl is having a massive resurgence and there are even rumours of the big UK supermarkets starting to stock it, we’ve got a crazy mad deadline to get everything done as all the manufacturers currently have long lead times. With regards to the public response to the fact it’s happening, we’ve felt such massive love and support from people who like our music, the amount of pre-orders via have already covered our costs, so it’s amazing to see that after the last few years there’s such strong support out there. 

That is awesome! Going way back to the beginning, what was the inspiration for creating Avec Sans?

We met at a Death Cab for Cutie gig when we were both wearing the same t-shirt at the bar and I think we wanted to make electronic music like Ben Gibbard’s incredible side project The Postal Service: electronic, but very human. 

I saw them last year and they were great! Since 2012, you’ve released a number of singles, which have attracted attention and popularity over a vast variety of media (MTV, BBC Radio, The Guardian, Vogue…).  What was your response to the attention and was that part of the driving force behind the creation of Heartbreak Hi?

Obviously it’s amazing when people like what you do, re: making the album, It’s just time really. We’ve been talking to major labels for a while now, but we’re aware that a lot of people on majors never get to put out an album, so we’re working with an indie and getting it our there. We want to give people a full length record and then clear the decks to continue writing and developing what we do. 

 How do you try to differentiate your music from other electro-pop tunes that are out there right now?

It’s hard when you’re in a band to know where you stand in comparison to others. We do make something that’s entirely genuine, it’s not the product of ten people’s hands. We have one new track, a friend, Benbrick, worked with us on and other than that our music is the product of my hands and Jack’s hands, there’s no writers, producers, engineers, mixers on this which is quite a rare thing these days and it means that we have a consistent sound, something that people can recognise as ours. 

 Respectively, what roles do each of you play in the band in terms of the writing process and producing?

I write top lines and lyrics and we co-produce everything together, Jack writes more of the music, but it’s definitely a collaborative process and I’m open to his ideas too. 

 Tell us a bit more about the album.  What is Heartbreak Hi all about?

The common thread is that the songs are happy sad songs, dealing with hard things, but trying to still uplift and bring something to the table that people can get involved with. 

You have music videos for just about all of your singles.  They are quite original and artistic – can you tell us a little about the ideas and creativity behind them?

We worked on a couple with director  Sing J Lee, he’s worked on videos for people like Chvrches and Muse etc and our latest one for Heartbreak Hi was actually made and directed by ourselves in North London and out in LA when we were playing shows there. It was really fun to take the creative process into the visual art form too.  

 What are your plans after the album release? AVEC SANS - Heartbreak Hi - Presser 1

Have a holiday I think, getting everything together ourselves does take a lot of time and energy, we’re touring it in June and then we plan to take our first actual break in three years in July. Then we’ll be back on it for the Autumn. 

Thanks for your time, we wish you well for your release. We hope you have a really good holiday to relax as you deserve it!

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