By Ziggy Merritt
The project of ex-Literature members Nate Cardaci and Seth Whaland who are joined here by Doran Rawlinson and Steven Garcia, Très Oui always had a lot going for it from its inception just a few years ago. Debuting with a well-received EP almost exactly a year ago, their first full-length, Poised to Flourish, keep up the hype while giving room for new ideas and inspiration to flourish. With Très Oui the punk-infused C86 sound that Cardaci and Whaland had incubated in Literature is injected with more infectious pop and synth stylings, the latter largely absent from their previous outfit.
That said, it’s not a terribly far cry from the previous work Cardaci and Whaland were innately familiar with in Literature. The pacing is not as intense, but this does not necessarily affect the quality of anything contained within. Instead, there’s something missing in the translation that the few bits of playful synth and familiar jangle don’t really get a chance to find. The fault comes down to the composition of the tracks themselves, few of which here are immediately memorable upon the delivery of that final note. “One Track” may have had the opportunity to dispel that notion with its dreamy layering of horns and floating vocals in the latter half, but a burdensome length stretches out a great composition into something that’s just okay.
I won’t go as far to deny that the album itself is any fun. There’s not a track here that fails to deliver a dollop of ear candy. Rabid enthusiasm pulses throughout the length of Poised to Flourish and that’s hard to deny. Think of this as the album that bridges the gap between a noisier past and a more serene and subdued present.
“Alex To The Right” is one of the few occasions where the minimal flourishes of synth feel well-attuned to the easygoing tempo with a warbling solo from that same player giving things a bit more depth. “Séance” backs this up, acting as the album’s centerpiece. A more aggressive power pop blend of guitars and drums give legs to Cardaci’s vocals, all of which capture the earnest found in the chorus. For a young band with 4 seasoned musicians at the helm, Poised to Flourish is a solid debut that pays homage to their legacy while pushing forward in a few exciting directions.
Get the album here!