Although they became important figures in the Saddle Creek community of Omaha, NE, Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor made their initial mark in Athens, GA, where they formed Azure Ray in 2001. The two musicians – both Alabama natives as well as childhood friends – relocated to Athens after school and combined elements of folk, pop, and light electronica into their 2001 debut album. The next winter, Azure Ray issued the November EP on the Saddle Creek label. The sophomore effort Burn & Shiver followed in 2002 and exuded a more serene soundscape, as well as slick production work from Crooked Fingers frontman Eric Bachmann. Fink and Taylor also began lending their help to other albums, from Moby's 18 to Bright Eyes' Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground. Meanwhile, they also served as members of Now It's Overhead, another Saddle Creek band.
A year later, Azure Ray continued their prolific pace by issuing Hold on Love. The album proved to be the duo's last release for seven years, though, and both musicians pursued solo careers in the interim... Taylor and Fink returned their focus to Azure Ray in 2009, launching a brief tour that year before returning in 2010 with their fourth album, Drawing Down the Moon. In September of 2012, the band's fifth, more electronic-leaning offering As Above So Below arrived. – by MacKenzie Wilson
Azure Ray joins the Flower Moon Records family with the re-release of their self-titled debut – and the record that launched the "dream pop" genre – featuring the hit songs "Sleep" (as seen in The Devil Wears Prada starring Anne Hathaway) and "Rise" (as seen in Winter Passing starring Zooey Deschanel), and their sophomore release Burn and Shiver.
NEWS & REVIEWS
PITCHFORK: AZURE RAY ALBUM REVIEW
The meat of these songs-- if something as pretty as Fink and Taylor's singing can support such a metaphor-- is, of course, the duo's vocals. Their gentle trills manage a good balance between ethereal and corporeal, like an apparition you could touch. It's a great mix between a haunting, somnambulant femininity and understated strength.
TAYLOR SWIFT MADE THIS BREAK-UP PLAYLIST FOR A RECENTLY DUMPED FAN
Taylor Swift is known for dissecting past relationships in her music, but what does the queen of heartbreak listen to when she's heartbroken?... a themed playlist about moving on that includes Charli XCX and Azure Ray.
CMJ: GIRLS, UNINTERRUPTED
Azure Ray's sisters-in-arms Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink have found themselves a place on Moby's forthcoming album, a new home closer to Omaha's Saddle Creek crew, and a brand new record that's a slow burn into the soul of the duo's intense poetics.
MORE FROM AZURE RAY
Available from Saddle Creek Records