That EP, which is still a few months off from being fully ready, will be the band's first release since the band broke onto the local scene, seemingly out of nowhere, with its fantastic full-length debut, Landmarks. But, see, here's the thing about the EP: The band has decided to forgo the tradition route of releasing it as a complete package. Instead, having been inspired by the folks at Good Records Recordings, Air Review will be releasing the EP as a string of singles. Sure, eventually, they'll release it as a full, physical package -- with maybe an extra song or two, frontman Doug Hale teases -- but, rather than make listeners wait another half a year or so for the release, they've decided to release the songs, once a month, as they're ready.
This week, they kicked that off with the release of the EP's title track, which is currently available for purchase on iTunes and also available after the jump for streaming. There, we also talk to Hale and catch up on all things Air Review -- and, more specifically, about whether these new songs indicate a change in direction, why they band wanted to go this route with their new song release, and what else we can expect from the ambitious outfit in the future.
The few new songs I've heard indicate a slight change in direction, which I'm sure isn't a surprising thing to hear. Was that your intention? What were you going for? How would you say the rest of the EP compares to "America's Son"?
Yes and No. Upon the release of Landmarks we were very quickly lumped into the "Brit-pop" category. Which is fair enough I guess considering our singles "Chasing Corporate" and "All Because You're Mine." But we feel like some of the best (and more obscure) material on the album was largely overlooked. It's been our intent from the very beginning to be sonically diverse in our songwriting. And although we for the most part feel like we achieved that with Landmarks it didn't come across somehow. We're inspired by bands like the Beatles that could put a '20s pop throwback love song like "When I'm Sixty-Four" on the same album as "A Day in the Life" -- an epic song about Tara Browne dying in a car crash. It seems most bands of our generation have abandoned this approach. We're still going to write rock songs, perhaps a bombastic anthem or two, and we'll try our hand at folk, pop, whatever we're feeling at the time. These songs on America's Son have always been a part of who we are. But at the same time, I think we're trying to make a bit of a statement with this EP that we're more than just a brit-pop band. The rest of the EP is definitely going to have the intimate feel that "America's Son" does -- however, we hope that each song will act as a unique and interesting part of the whole. We just got a new harmonium we're pretty excited about, so it's going to be hard to restrain ourselves from working it into every tune and sounding like a hare krishna band.
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Tell me a little more about the new release model. Why'd you decide to go this route? Is it a reaction to larger concerns about the music industry as a whole?
The initial idea for the release model was inspired by what Good Records Recordings is doing. It's definitely hard these days with families and real jobs to gather the entire Air Review camp into one room for six weeks to record a full-length album. We were at a very different point in life when we recorded Landmarks. So it just made sense go about it this way. But, yes, also the current state of the record industry is such that people want content at the tip of their fingers at all times. They want to see you in your PJs writing the songs on YouTube and they want to know what kind of deodorant you use -- it's almost expected now. So we loved the idea of keeping people intrigued and interested for an entire five- or six-month period with not just insipid content, but actual recordings.
When will the EP be completed and sold as a hard copy? How many songs?
We're still working out the details, but we're hoping to release the entire EP by the fall with perhaps a bonus track or two along with complete artwork. Probably around five or six songs.
Any upcoming performances?
We're in Austin and Helotes with Blue October at the end of April. But not performing locally for a few more months while we dig into the EP. Unless we get an offer we can't refuse.
Overall plans moving forward from this point?
We still believe in Landmarks -- we're still pushing and performing those songs and hope to break nationally at some level sometime soon. But we also want to show our fans and our hometown that we're progressing and not just waiting around and riding the wave of one album that we wrote three years ago. We'll continue to write and perhaps we'll jump right into recording another EP.