Air Formation: Stay Inside/Feel Everything (Clairecords, 2004)

by Jason

Air Formation Stay Inside Feel EverythingI don’t know how many times I will have to say this, but Clairecords signs another winner to their label. I picture them hunting high and low for the best blissed out, fuzzy, shimmering bands of all time and coming away from the hunt with great results. Newest in their sights is Air Formation. Captured and packaged in a disc called Stay inside/Feel Everything, Air Formation brings to the table all the elements of a next generation shoegazer band with subtle touches that make the genre their own. Air Formation takes shimmering, blissful guitars and sweeps the listener into space rock heaven.

Stay Inside begins with “Turns Into Sky.” The track starts off with soft, shimmering piano and blissed out guitar. Breathy vocals ride on lush sound with punchy percussion and driving bass. “Turns” is a 6 minute soundscape that achieves a sound not unlike cascading water falls in the background. “Fallen Leaves” follows on the heels of “Turns into Sky.” This song has recessed vocals My Bloody Valentine style, but with a deeper tone. The melody in this song is catchy, intricate and beautifully sits on top of the floating guitars. “Seethrustars” is a nice change of pace after the first two tracks. It is a slow piece that is heavier in feeling with widening bass and purposeful percussion. The vocals sit on the heavy laden sound like fresh air floating on heavy tones. The bass really drives this song while high, shimmering bleeps ride the tonal waves.

“Why I Lost You” is almost an instrumental, with the vox being used minimally. It rides on the heels of “Seethrustars” but lightens the heavy feel and brings lighter vocals with simpler bass work and light tapping on the ride. “Full Flight” is more spacey and shimmering in its approach. This song feels a lot like Jeremy Wrenn‘s work in Airiel. It is a cycle of continued, soaring chords with a simple feel. It is a nice break in their more complex composition on the album up to this point. All in all, this album really flows well and the pace the band sets in each song really lends itself to making the album feel whole and not fragmented, never boring the listener. “Say Inside/Feel Everything” begins with guitar with less effects and percussion turned down. Then, the volume is brought up and the effects become thicker and fuller. This is a four-minute song that is classic shoegaze in the vein of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine.

“Caught Upon the Waves” changes the tempo of the album once again. Driving percussion and staccato guitar really bring this peace out on the album. Also, the vocals are basically following a melody that feels very different from the beat of the song, perhaps a little like Morrissey in The Smiths. Another unique aspect of the song is that the bass is following the melody rather than sticking completely with the percussion. It makes for a nice affect. The album ends with “Here Comes the Rain.” This is an acoustic song with minimally altered vocals. It has beautiful shimmering noises in the background. There is a somber feel to this song, painting the picture of an impending rainstorm beautifully. It rounds out the album with a simple, yet somber mood.

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