Teasing new music with last year’s glacial, ‘Blanket Of Sorrow’, Nordic duo When ‘Airy Met Fairy (WAMF) are back with their anticipated second album, Esprit De Corps.
Translated literally from the French expression, Esprit De Corps means ‘spirit of the body’. It’s a concept of grandiose proportions and one that When ‘Airy Met Fairy relay with absolute artistic assurance. Brimming with subtle melody and minimalist instrumentation, their emotive melancholy excavates the foundations of our very being. Ebbing and flowing like a distant memory and simultaneously embodying all that makes us innately human.
Developing the stripped back intimacy of their critically acclaimed 2018 debut Glow, WAMF have spent the last few months cultivating their sound’s bewitching aesthetic. Locked up inside instrumentalist, Mike Koster’s empty apartment, sitting upon the derelict wooden floorboards, their bare and intimate surroundings provided an ideal canvas. Infusing elements of meticulously crafted trip-hop, Esprit De Corps paints an honest portrait that retains its own blemishes and imperfections.
Vocals/instrumentalist, Thorunn Egilsdottir:
“To me this album captivates the essence of who we are as people. No attempt to embellish anything. We left the sounds of me breathing and Mike’s instruments rattling while we switch between intensity and intimacy.”
Recorded without any knowledge of what Rufus Wainwright’s original track sounds like, lead single ‘Going To A Town’ was written without any set ideas or predetermined path. Mike Koster: “I insisted on not hearing the original until it's done. I wanted to stay a musical virgin in order to get involved in a creative way.” Reimagining Wainwright’s version, WAMF breathe new life and mystique into their murky, beats-led rendition. Elsewhere, ‘It Was Love’ and ‘That’s My Rock and Roll’ serve up icy lullabies for yearning and unrequited love whilst ‘On Your Own Again’ chronicles biting loneliness and alienation.
When ‘Airy Met Fairy consists of Iceland’s Thorunn Egilsdottir and Luxembourg’s Mike Koster. First forming in 2015, the pair were spotted by Icelandic musician Bardi Johannsson (Bang Gang, Lady & Bird, Starwalker), who went on to produce their maiden single, ‘Intoxicated’. They later released their debut album Glow in 2018, and have played shows all over the world.
We spoke to the duo on the release and more!
Hey guys! Please introduce yourself to our readers!
We are WHEN 'AIRY MET FAIRY, a trip-hop duo that makes dreamy, melancholic music.
Where are you from?
Thorunn: I'm from Iceland.
Mike: I'm from Luxembourg.
How did you meet each other?
Mike: I saw Thorunn play at a festival. After her performance, I told her that I loved her voice.
Thorunn: After which I told Mike that I liked his bass. So, I asked him if we should play a gig in France. 3 weeks later we were playing in a tiny little living room in La Rochelle.
Who’s your biggest influence?
Mike: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Thorunn: Many! Thom Yorke, Jeff Buckley, Björk, Tori Amos, Beth Gibbons and Fiona Apple.
Who are you listening to at the minute?
Mike: Zella Day.
How would you describe your sound?
Thorunn: Someone wrote that we are a "captivating electronic, Indie, melancholic, orchestral come pop outfit (that) have an unnerving beauty about" us.
You released ‘Going To A Town’ a short while back. What was the reaction like to the track?
Thorunn: We received many positive reviews and one negative. But that negative review also said that the rest of the album was really good. So we are happy.
Mike: Our video got banned from Google Ads and Facebook Ads due to the nudity. Where is the rock 'n' roll?
Your new album is due to be released soon / was released on 8th May! Tell us a little about it!
Thorunn: We are very excited about giving birth to this album. We put all our hearts into it and cannot wait to see the reactions from the public.
Mike: We are happy to finally get it out and share it with the world.
What is your favorite track / tracks?
Thorunn: I particularly like "Another Year", "Home", "Blanket of Sorrow", "On your own again".
Mike: "That's my Rock’n’Roll" and "Going to a town" are my personal favourites, although I am happy with the outcome of all of the songs.
You’ve played at various festivals all over Europe, including The Great Escape and Eurosonic. What’s your favourite thing about playing live?
Mike: The adrenalin rush before the show and this exhausted feeling of peace after the show.
Thorunn: I prefer to create songs to performing them. Mike is a true rockstar. I'm shy and I feel like throwing up before each show! It takes three songs to get calm my pulse. I freaking hate this!
What’s been your best memory in your music career so far?
Thorunn: When a Japanese fan drove 500 km only to see us play a second time within 48 hours.
Mike: Brighton was amazing. During our performance, someone screamed, "I fucking love this". This voice is still ringing in my ear. Cause we loved them back!
What do you guys hope to do next?
Thorunn: Record the third album and get to read nice reviews.
Mike: Touring with this album!
Find out more HERE.