Ahead of the new album Esprit De Corps, When ‘Airy Met Fairy provide a melancholic update to a fiery protest ‘Going to a Town’

Speaking to Q Magazine (Cited on Song Facts) on his protest song back in 2007, Rufus Wainwright revealed:

“The political situation has become so horrific on so many levels that I don't think anyone can help writing about it." Everything from the Iraq war, to prisoner rendition meant,George W Bush certainly provided two terms worth of writing material.

These days it’s President Donald Trump who is facing the world’s ire. From ‘alternative facts’ on a range of subjects, to frequent twitter storms, to controversial dealings with Ukraine, the US president has done much to poke the proverbial bear.

The White House may have seen a few fresh faces since the song’s original inception, but it’s a fair argument to say that the former US Apprentice host is even more divisive than many of his predecessors, and that’s putting it mildly. It’s in this climate that we find Airy Met Fairy’s update.

The duo’s vocalist Thorunn Egilsdottir uses her trademark melancholic style to great effect as she sings:
“I'm going to a town that has already been burnt down I'm going to a place that has already been disgraced
I'm gonna see some folks who have already been let down I'm so tired of you America”.

The voice really brings out a sense of depressed grief about the perceived decline of the USA.

The pair have left the pointed and powerful message from the original virtually untouched. The lyrics are, direct, passionate, and emotive.
Whether you agree with the point of view or not you can’t help but be struck by the provocative lyricism. The song’s outlook seems as relevant today as it has ever been.

Instead, the songs fresh lick of paint comes from its backing track, though even that doesn’t stray too far from its roots. While Wainwright’s take feels like a downbeat Lou Reed meets Travis inspired rebuke, of hypocrisy and injustice there remains a hint of melodic brightness to the track.

A choir lifts Wainwright’s voice, as if heavenly salvation, the mandolin chips into the mix as a guitar offers a mellow rhythm. Not exactly Pharrell’s Happy, but reassuring optimism, nonetheless.

2020’s offering strips away the last vestiges of musical whimsy, in favour of a colder, slower experience. A base and violin combine to forlornly drag open proceedings, as if the battle is already lost before we even get started.

80s style synths arrive on the scene to coldly and unfailingly churn out the beat. It’s a gloomy affair, but one that serves its message well.

Though its rather grey disposition will probably prevent you from putting it on your party playlist this summer, it’s a song Worthy of attention and contemplation.

The new album is set for release on May 8.