Pocket Symphony

The French duo balances inventive synthesizing with lyrical ballads and atmospheric introspections. For the most part, they succeed by creating a mix of cool textures—plucked strings, keyboard riffs, grooving bass. Never-was and never-is are played against once-upon-a-time, which stands still when a red-headed girl walks by. Their quasi-pastoral musings nod to French Pop, Ravel and Erik Satie grafted onto some distinctly East Asian koto and shamisen riffs and the Modernist notion that it has to be made new. The music could be the moodtrack for a series of romantic encounters that don’t go well; waking dreams in which there’s something hinted at, but it’s out of sight, perhaps out of reach. What saves all this French philosophizing—musically and lyrically—is that it’s existential and ethereal, but not precious.