Hey, tonight is a busy night at U Street Music Hall. In the early show, alt-R&B artist Autre Ne Veut is headlining with support from former DC-based dreampop duo GEMS. Earlier this week, we told you a little bit about GEMS.
Well, we are overdue to tell you a little bit about Autre Ne Veut — French for “I want no other!” He’s actually American Arthur Ashin, hailing from Raleigh, NC, and he released his most recent full-length LP, Age of Transparency, via Downtown Records on Oct. 2. He performs tonight, Friday, Oct. 23, at U Street Music Hall in support of the album.
Listening to Age of Transparency is like watching a movie gone awry. It starts out traditionally enough with first track “On and On (Reprise)” but then the music warps and Arthur starts repeating himself as if a record is skipping. His voice slides up next to you like a smooth modern rhythm singer but the melodies tap you on the shoulder and say, “Uh, excuse me, but there might be something wrong here.”
In September, Autre Ne Veut released “Panic Room,” a smooth ditty that compares locking up love to being in a secure panic room.
The clever video places Arthur in front of a panel of judges who listen to him sing a capella. But they judges are more like psychological counselors than American Idol rockers. Is he seeking acceptance or parole? This really kinda sets the stage for listening to Autre Ne Veut in more ways than one.
Watch the official video for “Panic Room” by Autre Ne Veut on YouTube:
In his videos, Arthur is typically clad in dress more akin to a hipster hip hop artist rather than an R&B crooner, occasionally appearing as a sort of super-villain, whose motives cannot be trusted.
He’s an intriguing fellow, and he’s sure to be a captivating singer tonight at U Street Music Hall.
Tickets are available online and at the door.