Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
The psyche of the Memento Mori is such that it can intrigue and repel those who look upon it with the same feelings of emotion as if you were witnessing the event of crossing the River Styx or coming upon the black and white photographs that were popular during the Victorian era, the visions of those who had recently passed away being posed in such a way, upright but dead, as if they still had the vestiges of life flowing through their decaying veins.
It is the psyche of death, the place where the souls that have drifted into the ether and now resides, that grabs the attention of one of France’s most gifted natural songwriters and composers Anne-Sophie Remy, especially in her guise of her stage name Room Me.
The enormity of producing songs that have both love and death as their central themes might, on the face of it, be seen to squirm in the stomachs of modern day sensibilities, yet we should not shun such visions, they are as inevitable as drawing breath. Perhaps it takes art to show that there is nothing to be scared of in such matters, the place in which souls reside, the Anaon, is there not to frighten but to comfort and in the way that Room Me has taken the message on board throughout her new album, is to be congratulated and admired.
From The Encounter through songs such as Love and Hate, Memories, Death Smiles And Dances Are Gone and Wandering Shadow, Room Me/Anne-Sophie Remy sense of composing is one of flourish, typically French, full of passion, full of drama and expectation, even in the face of songs that have despair weaved through their full beating hearts. Anaon may be the place where all the souls of the deceased find themselves but it is, in Room Me’s ample way of suggested a residence of emotional renewal, of accepting that those who have left us are able to go on in one form or another and only leave the memories to which we sing their fortune.
An album of strength, width, sincerity and seemingly deeply personal; loss is hard, not understanding it is devastating, to feel the darkness in the voice of Room Me is not only feel the chill and weight of passion, it is to hopefully take the reason of despair and turn it on its end, to give it an open room in which to dwell, the Memento Mori in which a song is placed upon its own pedestal.
Room Me’s Anaon is released on February 8th.
Ian D. Hall