Thursday, January 24, 2013 , Updated 12:00 a.m., January 29, 2013
Air Review releases first full-length album, gets radio play
This DIY indie album has glimpses of folk, electronic, and experimental rock.
The music industry is a transient space. Tour dates or even entire albums can vaporize -- or in the case of Dallas band Air Review, they can materialize. The electronic indie rock group set out to release a second EP which would be preceded by two singles. What came out of it was Low Wishes, their first full-length album.
“We hadn’t thought about releasing an album, but as we continued to write songs, we eventually decided to make it a full length. So we wrote over a long period of time; I think you can hear that in some of the songs,” said front man Doug Hale. ‘America’s Son’ and ‘H’ are the more folksy numbers, then there’s ‘Animal’ and ‘Rebel’ that were written a little bit later and progressed differently. I think as a whole, it ends [up] being a fairly cohesive album.”
The lengthened creative process is apparent. Early singles “Low Wishes” and “America’s Son” offer gentle rhythms and keys, harkening back to their freshman debut, while “ My Automatic” transitions to a cooler, more angular approach much like Radiohead. Harmonies continue to guide the sound and style; Hale says this focus comes from his love of the Beach Boys. Boards and electronic drums are more prominent, bringing louder beats and crashing bridges to the forefront.
“The last record was a little more Britpop and Garage Band sounding in the way we wrote and recorded it," Hale said. "We pulled out our guitars and tried to be as loud as we could. It was fun, but we were very thoughtful on how we wanted to re-brand ourselves this time around.”
They had time to flesh out this new direction since bassist Jeff Taylor works as a sound engineer at a recording studio. The band also produced and funded the album, as well as designed the cover art. During Air Review’s early stages, Hale realized how expensive a digital designer can be and decided to pick up the trade himself. He began learning Photoshop and has been designing their cover art ever since. Since then, other bands have hired him to do art projects.
Air Review is in the middle of planning a national tour and hopes to get out of Texas for a while, though the band will stop in Austin for an unofficial showcase at SXSW in March. The band received recent airplay in New York, California, Colorado, and Missouri and aims to visit those supportive areas soon. Low Wishes comes out Tuesday, January 29. The Dallas release party is Friday at Trees, with a Fort Worth show set at Live Oak Music Hall on Saturday, February 2.