The man behind Autre Ne Veut hasn’t disclosed his name but, unlike some of his emoting, lo-fi contemporaries (ie: How to Dress Well), ANV doesn’t need to rely on the gimmick of a mysterious persona. The Brooklynite who roomed with equally synth-savvy, Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin during college has a knack for Associates-level drama, in both vocals and in sound. To wit: The only information on his MySpace page reads, “Sounds Like: ‘We are trying a bit harder’.”
And Autre Ne Veut’s Body EP— the follow up to his self-titled debut, which didn’t land on any charts but gave small circles something new to play in the early afterparty dawn — is all about trying harder. Standouts “Sweetheart” and “Just Return” speak of high romantic stakes with thumping breakbeats and mid-breakup lyrics. The music, rife with woozy synths, is as wobbly as an unwanted separation. But the melodies are sturdy, making Autre Ne Veut’s blend of new wave and R&B hard to abandon.