M83 fans expecting the gleeful jaunt of Kim And Jesse will be in for a shock, as will anyone more recently lured into the web of the futuristic doom-dance Midnight City. But a shock, of course, isn’t always a bad thing. You And The Night is the eponymous soundtrack for the French-language film directed by M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez’s brother Yann, and it called for a sound more sobering than Gonzalez’ prior laser-dream bombastics. Thus, You And The Night is more a 2013 take on a classical wintry orchestral sweep, with tranquil melodies driven by dignified pianos and flutes, short sectioned-off songs and reprises that tell a moody, lyric-less story. The opener, L’inconnu (which translates to “The Unknown), sounds like it’s being broadcast amidst a unrelenting storm, and thus sets a theme for the album: stepping into darkness with blind faith.
However, while this soundtrack is largely instrumental, a few tracks, like the sparkling Nous, Mon Enfant and à la Lumière des Diamants, feature skin-prickling vocals performed by two pervious M83 collaborators: Morgan Kibby, who also performs as White Sea; and Susanne Sundfør, who had previously contributed vocals on M83′s sountrack to Oblivion.
That’s not to imply that this isn’t clearly an M83 work. It still seems like a natural movement forward. Holograms veers into the familiar M83 terrain of repetitive synth loops and creeping build-ups with the tease of a big payoff. Otherwise, You And The Night primarily holds steady as an unperturbed, chilly record that stands as well on its own as it would on the flickering silver screen.