Quentin Sauvé’s new solo album Whatever It Takes proves powerful. He plays bass for the French melodic hardcore band Birds In Row, but these latest songs tiptoe through a valley of human emotion. They’re a truly, and almost surprisingly, immersive experience, thanks in part to their directness and consistency.
Most often, it’s just Sauvé singing with his acoustic guitar, and his songs benefit greatly from the focus that his particular artistry provides. Whatever It Takes feels like a prime example of how less can be more.
Lyrically, Sauvé remains vivid and direct throughout his work, telling what sound like real stories from his life that can be despondent, but such is life. At one point, he shares an account of working with a guitar and laptop, so this record feels as though it truly shows him at his most vulnerable.
There’s no overly sugary “light at the end of the tunnel,” and Sauvé doesn’t feel concerned with hitting any sort of standard for emotional songwriting. He’s really just telling the story that has to be told, and in that, his at-times-remarkably-minimalist music still hits the listener with considerable force.
Musically, there are a number of notable points where Sauvé augments his presentation in a way that both lets the listener in on how precisely and carefully he’s presenting his craft and ultimately adds to its fullness. The flourishes, like accompanying female vocals and a brief appearance from a carefully played brass instrument of some sort towards the end of the record. get a chance to shine in part because there’s not an overwhelming cascade of noise and texture.
Ultimately, this record sounds like Quentin Sauvé. Whatever It Takes doesn’t feel like an aim to wow music critics, do something no one else has done before, or anything else that ultimately hinges on the listener. Instead, the album is introspective, and in that, allows for attuned fans to win what they’re likely searching for if they end up here. Whatever It Takes feels like the closest thing to a real, human connection in the midst of pain in sonic form.
Purchase the album here.