Album review: Azure Ray – Remedy
A peaceful pop-folk collection
Azure Ray recently released their fifth album, Remedy. Childhood friends in Georgia, Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor formed Azure Ray in 2001. Their albums explore pop, folk, and light electronic music. Remedy has elements of all three genres but primarily explores their folk sound.
The album opens with “Swallowing Swords”, which is a sad and slow piano ballad. The lyrics are insightful and make the listener think about the rhetorical questions that appear in almost every line. Still, it’s somewhat difficult to understand the message of the song as a whole. After the last chorus, an instrumental continues the slow, depressing sound throughout the rest of the song.
In “Bad Dream”, one of the album’s singles, there is a more upbeat accompaniment than in “Swallowing Swords”, but the overall sound remains calm and relaxed. There is a guitar with effects that create a dreamlike feel that matches the theme of the song well. They sing about being stuck in a bad dream and trying to tell the difference between the good and the bad that is going on in those dreams. While the story behind these lyrics is also somewhat confusing, the song is very relaxing and creates an easy escape for listeners.
The album’s third track, “Phantom Lover,” continues the relaxing sound found on the album’s first two tracks. With mostly natural sounds in the accompaniment, they adopt a folk style for the song. They use images of nature, such as the stars and the moon, contributing to the folk style and creating peaceful images. This song is similar to the other two as it is also a quiet escape with a somewhat hazy message.
“Remedy”, the album’s fifth and full title track, begins with a peaceful acoustic guitar and a sweet message. They sing about someone who is their only âcureâ in a world full of incidents and people who don’t understand them. The song’s sweet message is matched with the peaceful accompaniment and tranquil melodies that float above the guitar. The instrumental that follows one of the choruses resembles a lullaby and helps the song to end peacefully.
Track six, “Desert Waterfall” has a sound that sits between folk, indie and pop. An acoustic guitar is layered on top of the bass and drums at the start and creates a mysterious sound. The lyrics are about life changing as they get older. The song is moving as they sing about how one part of themselves gets stuck in the past while the other part is ready for the future.
âI Don’t Want to Want toâ, the last track on the album, is another relaxing song but with a more pop production. It starts with synthesizers and pianos mixed together, creating a modern and intriguing sound. The lyrics are deep and ask many questions, similar to the first track on the album. The lyrics repeat the questions starting with the words âmight likeâ. They sing about not wanting to âgive upâ. While the lyrics are somewhat confusing, the song is an emotional journey of not wanting to let go of love and a relationship.
Overall, Remedy, Azure Ray’s newest album, is a peaceful folk album that is easy to get away from.