erasing clouds

Très Oui, Poised to Flourish

review by dave heaton

Poised to Flourish is maybe a presumptuous title for a debut album. But it fits. Flourish, these songs and band do. The Austin, Texas-based Tres Oui is an outgrowth of, or variation on, the band Literature, whose 2014 Slumberland album Chorus and 2012 debut Arab Spring were both indie-pop firecrackers.

Poised to Flourish fits that description too, with a somewhat different direction. This is energetic guitar-pop, with room for synthesizers, made for some theoretical dancefloor (a would-be 2018 version of an imaginary sock-hop). Yet some dreamy textures emerge. Where the opener “Looking For” leaves some space to breathe within its transitions, the almost dream-pop slow-dance “One Track” and the layered, building “Sunday’s Crowd” take those hints of ideas and capitalize on them.

Striking phrases and sentiments emerge from the lyrics more than complete stories. The hookiest lyrics take joking and sensitive approaches to sadness and longing. “Always on my mind / different ways to die”, singer/guitarist Nate Cardaci memorably declares on “Alex to the Right”, sounding more dreamy than desperate.

Tres Oui invite us to a séance (necessary for communicating with some people), share some “Red Wine & Dry Ice”, and they entreat us: “don’t be shy / come say Hi / we’ll get high” (on “Shy”). This is party music in its own way – fun and boisterous – but with a welcome lightness of touch, a dreamy softness within tightly wrapped pop-rock. The finale “Wash Away” is a stunner, a deep dive into melancholy sounds.

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