En Attendant Ana

Juillet

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En Attendant Ana are a Parisian indie quintet whose tightly focused melodies and energetic attack are fused with a curious blend of harmonic sophistication and wild abandon. They first appeared in 2016 with a rather rugged lo-fi EP, followed two years later by the more refined full-length Lost and Found, an exciting debut that revealed a young band with heaps of potential. Jump ahead to 2020, when their excellent sophomore LP, Juillet, makes good on that promise. Fronted by singer and chief songwriter Margaux Bouchaudon, En Attendant Ana are primarily a guitar band, though they make good use of multi-instrumentalist Camille Fr├ęchou, whose lofty trumpet lines add a distinctive finesse to the group's energetic post-punk meets indie pop arrangements. Sung in a straight, unaffected delivery, Bouchaudon's vibrato-less voice acts almost like a horn itself, drawing attention to the neatly crafted melodies of songs like "Down the Hill," "Do You Understand?," and "The Light That Slept Inside." The sometimes-rickety vigor of their debut has given way to a more focused intensity heard in the jagged friction of cuts like "Somewhere and Somehow" and "Enter My Body (Lilith)," where the band lock into formation while alternately playing their hearts out. They manage to deliver thrilling, wholly committed performances with an organic liveliness that also adheres to a sort of Krautrock precision. There are shades of classic Stereolab in En Attendant Ana's stylish analog tone and sizzling vintage organs, though their garage-pop aesthetic and spiky attack feels ultimately more human. Infectious in spirit and boasting numerous memorable songs, Juillet is a marvelous album and a great improvement on the group's debut.

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