zaterdag 18 november 2017

Glow. When 'Airy Met Fairy

A band from Iceland and Luxembourg? It seems like a tax evasion case before I have heard one note. When 'Airy Met Fairy is a true band however and a name like that invites me to listen, even if it sends me negative images of disco, dance or worse. But then, from Iceland the strangest sorts of music comes to the world. So who knows what to expect really.

Listening to Glow for the first time, somewhere in the background during dinner, it proved the right sort of music for that occasion. Non-intrusive yet incidentally capturing attention without demanding it. When listening with half an ear Kate Bush of old is a direct reference. In the way of singing and in atmosphere. Fairies are never far away in this music. Glow holds a dreamlike quality with singer Thorun Egilsdottir as the perhaps friendly witch. Her voice is the kind I always imagined the witch's in Hansel and Gretel would have. Specifically this part: "Nibble, nibble, like a mouse, Who is nibbling at my house?" (Thank you for the translation.)

So imagine a singer like a witch, a woman on helium in front of a band, that plays ever so soft and subtle. She has lived in both countries, studied in France, plays piano, decided to write in English and worked as an actress and tv anchor. When she met Mike Koster (bass, moog) and Thomas Copier (drums) they became When 'airy Met Fairy' and started working on a repertoire together in 2015. Honing their skills on stages around the world slowly but surely they worked towards Glow.

Glow is the kind of album that takes you by the ear as soon as you give it a few minutes of your time. Agreed, Egilsdottir's voice can turn you off the album within seconds, but as soon as you let her in, you will be sold. With minimal effects the band creates its own world around seemingly uncomplicated tunes. Not unlike Joan Wasser on the debut album of her nom de plume Joan as Policewoman, 'Real Life', When 'Airy Met Fairy plays with essential emotions in a minimal setting. In nearly every song the right effect is created by adding a Moog or piano to the sound. eels bar the strong beats in a song like 'Susan's House' is another reference, leaving the piano only.

It is a surprise when a full sound, everything is relative though, emerges on Glow. In 'Sanctify You' the sound swells to a storm of When 'Airy Met Fairy proportions. After which the album continues in this dreamy, minimal way. I find that Glow is extremely intriguing. With a minimal effect it is able to change a song completely and making for an impact that I did not see coming.

Summing up, I find that Glow is not so much extremely good, but extremely well made, intriguing and captivating. So it's not 'Dark Side Of The Moon' or 'Abbey Road' to name two of my all time faves, but certainly up there with albums like 'Real Life' or 'Beautiful Freak'. An album to cherish with care, like I tend to do with something fragile and of beauty.


You can listen to 'Intoxicated' here:

1 opmerking:

  1. Found on the Facebook page of When Airy Met Fairy: "We love honest reviews. This one is one of those. Haensel and Grethel, take care! Here we come!".