The Last Mixed Tape reviews The Imaginary Museum, the debut studio album from Autre Monde.
The Imaginary Museum is the sound of indie-pop contorting and twisting in on itself. An album that breaks the fourth wall and explores the trials and tribulations of writing, Autre Monde’s debut plays the boundaries of its genre making it a very different beast from what’s out there at the moment.
From the slow ominous pounding of album opener ‘Lesser Than You’, The Imaginary Museum’s undercurrent of obscured hooks and melody is defined by intricate songwriting set upon an engulfing thematic production that looks to reinterpret the very core of the music itself. This central thread of pop music put through the thresher is the most compelling yet challenging aspect of the record.
Indeed, Autre Monde continues to pull apart their sound on the songs like the pulsing fuzz of ‘Brain Upon Your Pillow’, indie-pop banger ‘Fever In May’, and the sweetly glistening ballad ‘The Operator’. All of which showcase the band’s ability to write pinpoint pop songs that stay with you via catchy hooks or lush melodies whilst still containing the sense of depth and edged textured that flows right through The Imaginary Museum.
However, there can be no doubting that ‘On The Record’ steals the show on The Imaginary Museum but also best captures Autre Monde avant-pop leanings with a sound that plays like 80s power-pop gem, complete with a soaring Roxy Music-Esque sax solo, while also adding the D.I.Y backbone of the group’s music.
Indeed, while songs like ‘On The Record’ sonically subvert pop aesthetics so too does the songwriting. Exploring the process of creating, releasing and living with music The Imaginary Museum is a piece about putting yourself out there to create the art you want to create with the price and pursuit of which never far behind or in some cases blocking the path.
And so it goes, Autre Monde’s The Imaginary Museum never flinches in the face of its own creativity. Everything about the album feels like it was done to serve the body of work rather than any outside influence and, in doing so, sets itself apart. It’s pop but not as we know it.
The Imaginary Musuem by Autre Monde is out now.