Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gauzy and gorgeous.

It's been seven years since they last released a full-length album as a duo, but Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink are back as Azure Ray and on Drawing Down The Moon they pick up where they left off without missing a beat. While they've left Warm Records behind for a new home with Saddle Creek the melancholic beauty of Burn and Shiver has made the journey with them.

Both Taylor and Fink have been busy in the interim with their solo careers - Taylor has three solo albums to her name while Fink has been burning the candle at both ends recording solo records and playing in both O+S and Art In Manila. How the pair found the time to work as Azure Ray again is a mystery but one I'm happy to accept without question. Eric Bachmann is back as producer and the same astute touch he applied on Burn and Shiver is evident on Drawing Down The Moon.

Songs like "Larraine" and "Silver Sorrow" are dressed up with strings, ambient percussion and other embellishments but they never overwhelm nor overshadow the vocals that are Azure Ray's lifeblood. There's enough dissimilarity in Taylor and Fink's voices to make them identifiable, but they share a breathy, delicate quality that makes them perfectly suited for each other - and for the material they write. No one can sing about heartache and heartbreak like these two; Azure Ray almost make it sound like a state worth visiting.

I find it interesting that some of the tunes have a trance-like quality considering the origins of the album title.

Stereogum has the premiere of the duo's video for "Dont Leave My Mind" here. But if you just want to listen, you can download it here:

Be sure to visit Azure Ray's website and Myspace page.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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