OVER THE MOON Azure Ray

Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor’s reunion was
a case of the stars aligning. They are currently on tour.

 

BY ANNAMARYA
SCACCIA

 

When Orenda
Fink and Maria Taylor disbanded Azure Ray in 2004 to pursue different musical
careers, they knew it wouldn’t be a permanent end to the beloved indie folk-pop
outfit. There was always the possibility-and intention-to reconvene, says Fink,
and when that time would come to pass, it would be met with equal enthusiasm.
It was just a matter of “never saying never” and of understanding that life is
a series of unforeseen events.

 

You can
chalk up Azure Ray’s reunion over a year ago to fate. In late 2008/early 2009,
the pair, who maintained their friendship through the years, found themselves
in California for singular reasons; at the time, Taylor was a resident, and
Fink was visiting as part of her work as a touring member of Rilo Kiley. In her
travels, Fink stayed with Taylor at Taylor’s request, and it
was through this cohabitation that the connection they had as a band years ago
was rekindled. But it wasn’t until Fink’s home in Omaha,
Nebraska, was sold while she was in California that the deal
was cemented. With nowhere to go, she was convinced by Taylor
to relocate to the Golden
State and, according to
Fink, the only way her husband would allow this to happen was if Azure Ray got
back together. “It kinda put it out there for us and we were like, ‘Yeah, let’s
do it,’ and so, then, that was kinda of the decision,” she says. “Something
about the stars aligning. It felt like we were just there at the place that we
needed to be in.”

 

For
Fink, who now lives in Athens,
Georgia, being
able to return to Azure Ray was nothing but wonderful. It’s a sentiment that
the Birmingham, Alabama-based Taylor
agrees with, equating their reunion with “coming back home.” “It felt so
natural,” she says.

 

This instant
familiarity is not absent on Azure Ray’s new Drawing Down the Moon (Saddle Creek) either. Recorded with the help
of producer Eric Bachmann, the album keeps with the duo’s tradition of drawing
inspiration from life, focusing on themes of multi-faceted love and reformation
(“Going through the fire and coming out the other side, whether to beauty or to
scars,” says Fink). But there’s a certain maturity to the record that offers
listeners a more enticing, majestic appeal in addition to the duo’s signature willowy
sound. It’s the perfect reintroduction to the much-missed band (they head out
on tour starting October 10).

 

And Drawing Down the Moon won’t be the last
of Azure Ray. According to Taylor, while both are involved in side products
(Fink plays in O+S with Remy Zero’s Cedric LeMoyne, and Taylor is working on a record
with Andy LeMaster in addition to another solo album), they don’t foresee a
future hiatus, even if a couple of years may pass between records.

 

Azure Ray’s U.S. tour runs now through Nov. 20.
Tour itinerary at the official website.

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