Airiel: Dizzy (Clairecords, 2003)

by Jason

wk_dizzy_covers_editDizzy, the second in the Winks and Kisses series by Airiel, is a great follow up to Frosted and actually moves the band’s sound forward. This album is more atmospheric than Frosted and the guitar work seems to be more intricate than the discs predecessor. Although only months apart, it is apparent that the band is growing both in song writing skills and vocally. Jeremy really shows his vocal talent on this disc. Lyrically, the album is cohesive and is about a love lost. That being said, let’s get right to the songs.

“Stratosphere” follows much of the same formula that the band used on Frosted for their song structure: driving bass and drums with layer upon layer of shimmering guitars and noises. What is great about this song is Jeremy’s vocal expression. He shows the listener that he can belt it and his vocal ability is marvelous. His vocals mirror the pain found in the lyrics. He states, “I’d never clip my wings, to see you/ reach for a sky/ sky above, I’ve looked through … I’d never turn you down with all this blue.” “R1” is the second track and is a beautiful instrumental. There is a fade into the song, like you were being dropped into the middle of a story. This song has a jangly, shimmering quality to the guitars with a sort of jazz touch. It conjures images of ocean side cliffs with the ocean beating the rocks below. Perhaps that has to do with me being a Californian, but the picture is familiar enough to most people. “R1” is atmospheric and beautiful.

“This is Why I Can’t Sleep” keeps that shimmery feeling of “R1”. It’s a mid-tempo song with a new twist. On this track, Krissy Bailey of Whimsical lends her vocal talents opposite Jeremy. She has a beautiful voice that really compliments Jeremy‘s and also plays off the layered guitars wonderfully. I would like to here more male/female vocals in Airiel‘s compositions. It works perfectly with their sound. The ending of this song is quiet and picturesque. This is a nice contrast to its climax, which is quite a layer of sonics and vocals. Lastly, “500 Deep” rounds out this four song EP. I don’t know why, but the drum and bass work on this song reminds me of Tears for Fears in their glory days. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the song is definitely Airiel, but I found this under girding style make the song stand out on the EP and make it my favorite track. There are great guitar parts on this song as well, perhaps the best on the album. It sounds as if the guitars are answering each other through the layers of sound. The guitar parts are distinct, yet blend together perfectly. Clocking in at 9:54, the song eventually takes a turn both in tempo and mood. One thing I like about Airiel is their ability to know when a particular sound or beat would get monotonous and exhausting. “500 Deep” turns from a fast-temp song to an atmospheric, slow song shimmering behind Jeremy’s hypnotic vocals.

This is a strong addition to the Winks and Kisses series by Airiel. For those into shoegaze, I highly recommend this band. For those starting to explore the genre, this is a low price introduction to a great band. The sound and lyrical content of this disc make it cohesive and strong and I highly recommend it.

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