Azure Ray releases quirky video for new single 'Palindrome' ahead of EP launch
The video for the single 'Palindrome', directed by Alan Tanner, is available on YouTube and makes for an immensely entertaining and quirky watch
Azure Ray, the dream pop indie duo comprising Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink, is back with a bang. Fresh on their soundscape is the official video for their new single 'Palindrome' with Billboard. The single is from Azure Ray's upcoming EP 'Waves' which is set to release this Friday, October 26, on Flower Moon Records (pre-order). Fresh from their reunion in Los Angeles at the Lodge Room earlier this year, Stereogum premiered their new single 'Palindrome' on September 26 from their first new record in six years.
The video, directed by Alan Tanner, is also available on YouTube and makes for an immensely entertaining and quirky watch. About the video, the band told Billboard, "We decided to do something a little different for our first video premiere after a six-year hiatus."
"This being an atypical approach to video-making, we wanted to find the perfect home to premiere it. It’s a tongue-in-cheek parody of a music video written and directed by Alan Tanner ('One Night Stand' with Rob Corddry, 'See Fernando' Jenny Lewis, 'Souled Out' Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, 'I’m Cured' Aimee Mann)."
'Palindrome' is available on Stereogum and Soundcloud. About the song, Stereogum said: “'Palindrome', is a backwards-looking, mournful string-driven ballad which offers the best of the band’s spectral harmonies, woodsy storytelling and aching wisdom. Azure Ray opens their third chapter as a band consumed by the passage of time ('Once in a lifetime chance/ Or a harvest of experience/ Life runs its course I guess') and the scar tissue of losses, unanswered questions and regrets ('It’s no small price to wait your whole life until you know/ If I could love you better') we accumulate. There’s a calm, reflective maturity in their lyricism, as they make a promise to themselves, self-forgiving and without bitterness. Azure Ray is chewing on life’s patterns and rhythms that mimic (as the EP’s title alludes to) nature and language."
Azure Ray, the coming together of multi-talented musicians Taylor and Fink, was formed in Athens, Georgia and made its 2001 debut with the self-titled record comprising hit singles like 'Sleep' and 'Rise'. Azure Ray’s 2002 November EP and 2003’s 'Hold on Love' were formative contributions to Omaha’s Saddle Creek Records' indie scene, before Fink and Taylor disbanded in 2004 to pursue solo projects. They reunited again in 2008, later releasing 2010’s 'Drawing Down the Moon' and then 2012’s 'As Above, So Below'.
'Waves' is the duo's eighth studio release, and their first new recording in six years. The EP includes five songs, 'Palindrome', 'Last Summer in Omaha', a new recording and revisioning of 2003’s 'Hold On Love', a cover of R.E.M.’s 'Nightswimming' and 'Palindrome (Reprise)'. Recorded over several sessions in Joshua Tree, California, and Los Angeles, 'Waves' was co-produced by Azure Ray and Louis Schefano and mixed by Andy LeMaster and is the first Azure Ray release on Flower Moon Records (owned and operated by Taylor). Azure Ray’s self-titled debut and follow-up record 'Burn and Shiver' were also re-released on Flower Moon Records in 2018.
Sharing about the release, Taylor and Fink said: "A few months ago, we received a heavy, nondescript brown box covered in 'magnetic media' stickers. Inside were the original reels from the first Azure Ray record (including some songs or versions that never made the final cut). Something about seeing the giant antiquated grey metal boxes made us nostalgic for those early recordings. There we were, barely 20, in our tiny, messy apartment in Athens, GA, trying to cope with the tragic loss of Maria’s boyfriend, a fellow musician who was taken way before his time. Grief ended our first band, but we eventually turned to songwriting again, and the cathartic exercise thrust upon us by tragedy ultimately led to the birth of Azure Ray."
They added: "We actually had been talking about writing and playing shows again as Azure Ray for a while when that box of reels arrived. Around that same time, we booked our first reunion show since 2013. The sold-out crowd packed the beautiful, ornate building from wall-to-wall and the stage was decorated with hundreds of white lilies bathed blue light. Reuniting as Azure Ray again for the first time in a decade was a turning point for both of us after all that had changed in our lives over the last few years. "
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Less than a year since their most recent 'reunion' show, they can't help but be excited to announce the new EP. "The same Azure Ray that wrote 'Sleep', 'Rise', 'November' and more isn’t just back again – we’re here as we’ve always been. This EP was about revisiting what Azure Ray has meant to us – and felt like to the listener – over the last 18 years. So for the last few months we’ve been demoing songs back and forth over email and Facetime between Omaha and Los Angeles, until this August when we packed up a car and drove out to a house in Joshua Tree to record."
They added: "These songs are both a yearning and nostalgia for the Azure Ray of the past, and new perspectives on how and why we make music – with 18 years of love, life, and loss in between. It’s a record we’ve been aching to write – without even knowing it – just like the first one almost two decades ago. So today, we’re excited to share with you our favorite Azure Ray songs in years."
Here's the 'Waves' track list and the video for 'Palindrome':
2. Last Summer in Omaha
3. Nightswimming (R.E.M. cover)
4. Hold On Love (2018)
5. Palindrome (Reprise)
Preorder 'Waves' on Flower Moon Records here.