Self released (label)
07 July 2018 (released)
06 July 2018
When 'Airy Met Fairy strive for melancholic beauty but fall the wrong side of gloomy on debut album Glow.
With their freshman effort, When 'Airy Met Fairy have made a conscious decision to move away from what they see as the lavish and overproduced music of today. What this translates to is a focus on, wistfully sweet vocals, slow acoustic melodies, and a dreamy melancholy.
When the LP works we get the flighty fairytale ‘123 Magic’ where there’s “green soft carpet tickling my torn feet” and “there is a gentle giant in the sea singing the sweetest lullaby songs”. Thorunn Egilsdottir’s Soft songbird voice carries off a sense of wonderment for a larger-than-life world.
On the other hand, when things don’t go to plan the listener is left with the morbid ‘Penniless’. The short track, with its oddly disconcerting choir like backing wants to be life-affirming, but comes off all too depressing. The storyteller apparently on the deathbed opines:
“I am no more, no more worries, no more penniless”.
It’s an album which, struggles to walk a fragile line between melodically tranquil and dull.
This is a shame because there is certainly some good artistry on display. ‘Bus’ tackles being weighed down by guilt and depression, while ‘Until Your Season Dries’ implores a former love to “carry me with you until your season dries”.
Both songs have something to say and have lyrics that a listener can connect with. The gentle musical choices work well in these cases, with the former clapping out a steady rhythm to a mundane life, while the latter is serenaded by gentle keyboard and base, in Keeping with the singer’s warmly wistful reflections.
Elsewhere on ‘Sanctify You’, Egilsdottir’s serene voice is complemented by tinkling xylophone and gospel organ. The soothing mix supports a gushing tail about mercy and unwavering humility.
Despite, attempting to forgo the allegedly overproduced pop formula, Fairy find themselves trapped within the confines of their own creative choices. While the focus on a largely acoustic set up does reap some easy listening rewards, it also comes off a tad depressing.
Lyrics for ‘Daughter’ showcase the warm love a mother has for her offspring, but down beat piano and sinister sounding backing, leaves a sweet hearted song feeling glum and moody. The funereal ‘Carcass’ doesn’t help matters either with its ambiguously macabre subject.
Glow’s strongest moments aren’t enough to stop it’s 12 track set from feeling like the musical equivalent of a damp Tuesday afternoon. It might be fun to go singing in the rain for the first five minutes, but you’ll soon be left cold.