After a seven-year hiatus dotted with a variety of projects, Azure Ray and its frontwomen Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor are back, and their fourth album, Drawing Down the Moon, is certainly worth the wait.---
Anyone familiar with Azure Ray knows they are virtually incapable of creating anything less than engaging and masterful music, but this collection is truly a testament of their talents. The album softly unfolds with the graceful sound of a harp in the romantic lullaby “Wake Up, Sleepyhead,” and further draws you in when the harmonious vocals of Fink and Taylor are added to the mix.
The second song and first single, “Don’t Leave My Mind,” is surprisingly upbeat when the percussion picks up and adds a new, buoyant layer. “Larraine” spins a tragic acoustic tale that evokes a dark dynamic of disturbing and violent images. By the time the duo weaves the lyrics “I’m a little worried that I killed something inside of me when I let you go” throughout the track “Signs in the Leaves,” you are completely submerged and lost in a dreamscape of raw sensation.
However, it’s the unexpected and uplifting track “Make Your Heart” that is the true gem of the album. Its violins and soaring chorus practically pulsate with positivity, while at the same time retaining the sad tinge that is elemental to Azure Ray’s compositions. From start to finish, Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor combine their instruments, harmonies and lyrics to weave a seamless and multifaceted fairytale of love and loss. Drawing Down the Moon glides along effortlessly like an indie dreamboat on a river of melancholy. Nearly every song is an ode to painful emotions, but heartbreak has never sounded or felt so good.
Azure Ray plays at The State Room October 30.