Ariel’s “Firefly”

I’ve been absent again. Started a long NDA project last week – that’s Non-Disclosure Agreement, for those unfamiliar with such things. So for the next few weeks, the posts are going to be fairly sparse … not that they haven’t been already. I’ll try to keep up … but no promises, to myself or others.

That said, I’m going to try kickin’ out some shorter posts, to see if that does the trick. Time will tell. So here goes …

I was puttering around the Spotify playlists, looking for something easy to whip up some words for. And after a lot of maybe’s, I found an “oldie” from 2004, titled “Firefly” from one of the few American shoegaze acts that actually got it right … the Chicago-based three-piece Airiel.

I guess ’04 qualifies as old, depending on one’s point of view. But today, it’s new to me, or renewed to me, so it’s the same to you … I hope.

Anyway, I haven’t heard this one in a good long while, so not surprisingly, it caught my ear. “Firefly” is actually a collaboration with homegrown L.A. vocal etherealist Stella Tran. Airiel typically feature’s voice from guitarist and founder Jeremy Wrenn. So Stella’s inclusion is a bit of an exclusive one-off. But she really complements, as well as balances, the shimmery six-string reverberations through this trio’s dreamy popscapes.

It’s really beautiful stuff, evocative of some of the lighter late ’80s – early ’90s Cocteau Twins palate of song-craft. It’s a bit groovier though, placing them closer to Ride or some of the more up-tempo Slowdive stuff. But it’s effervescent as all hell, glints and glimmers of feathery vocals that you can almost decipher, yet ultimately choose not to, since it sounds good as is.

Otherwise, “Firefly” is an experiential journey. Just throw it on. Make sure you’ve got decent bass on your system, since it’s woofer-ly subdued , providing the backbone for all that glimmery delay and feedback. And it probably sounds amazing live. I don’t recall Airiel playing it when they were previously in town last summer. But if it’s anything like their other material on stage, then it would be appropriately transcendent, to say the least.

Anyway, “Firefly” comes from a trio of ’04 EPS titled “Winks & Kisses,” this particular entry subtitled “Melted.” I’m gonna toss on another classic track from this release, as well, which offers a nine and a half minute glimpse of Airiel sans Stella. It’s called “In Your Room,” and seems like a perfect pairing to “Firefly.” Enjoy!

“Firefly” from the 2004″ EP “Winks & Kisses: Melted.”

“In Your Room” from the 2004″ EP “Winks & Kisses: Melted.”

And just because I can, here’s Airiel performing “In Your Room” at the Echoplex last summer on 07.28.18. I have no excuse for the quality of this footage. Things just weren’t coming into focus, so to speak. It’s probably why I never posted this show. Plus it fell a few months before I actually started this blog. At least, now I have an excuse to share a piece of it, fuzzy, dark, and all. Enjoy it for it’s wonderful live sound.

I’ll leave it at that. I guess this wasn’t all that short of a post. I’ll do shorter next time. Peace.

Airiel perform “In Your Room” extremely out of focus at the Echoplex on 07.29.18.