Au Ras Au Ras, The Great Nothing (Independent)

Au Ras Au Ras The Great Nothing Album Cover

Au Ras Au Ras’ second album The Great Nothing has an appropriate amount of white space in its songs, giving Tess Brunet (alumnus of Deadboy & the Elephantmen, Generationals and Twin Tigers) ample room to resonate. Brunet’s come-hither croon against her and Johnny Campos’ deafening guitar work is delicate and spellbinding, like a vine curling up a lightning bolt.


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Brunet is a confident ingénue; I find many singers attempting the Dusty in Memphis thing come off too dusty and not enough Memphis or vice versa. There is no affectation here, nor a lack of focused energy. “Talking Head” is no-pulp juicy, squeezed from the heart. The title track comes on like a sunset to say “know that everything is known,” dragging the thought out as long as the encroaching dark.

Most of The Great Nothing travels at a dream pace, even the incendiary sounding “Knife Fight” where she’s “gonna fake some cuts so I can size you up.” The song simmers up to the romantic longing the protagonist seeks without boiling over, and in that hesitancy, in that self-preservation, this album finds its power.

Finale “I’m a Liar,” a naked admission of deceit, is the kind of juggling act of true and false few love songs can execute. It’s like talking about limits in higher math; you never get to zero or infinity, but you can get really, really close, and it’s where the real interesting dynamics take place.