Mike Koster and Thorunn Egilsdottir, aka When ’Airy Met Fairy, have released a new album. “Esprit de Corps” was recorded by the duo at home.
Photo: When ’Airy Met Fairy
Luxembourg duo Thorunn Egilsdottir and Mike Koster released the latest album under the When ’Airy Met Fairy moniker on Friday 8 May.
Two years on from their debut album “Glow”, When ’Airy Mt Fairy have unveiled “Esprit de Corps”. Like its predecessor, the 13-track album showcases Thorunn’s deliciously haunting voice. But, stripped down to the bare bones of the duo, the sound of “Esprit de Corps” is perhaps more lo-fi and experimental, as evidenced by teaser track “Inside your lungs superstar”.
Duncan Roberts: You said in Songwriter magazine that you have used two chords in a verse and three chords in a chorus. But has the songwriting process been any different for this album than for “Glow”?
Thorunn: It is a similar process on the outside but a completely different one from the inside. What I mean by that is that many musicians and studios were involved in the making of “Glow”. This time it was only Mike and me, making the songwriting experience a lot user-friendlier than the first one (fewer people means fewer opinions). Additionally, we recorded at home. We could record whatever and whenever we wanted without thinking of time or budget restrictions.
You have also been using new technology tools. Is there any particularly hard or software that you discovered that has been a revelation?
Mike: Since we produced the album at home without a recording engineer, we had to learn a lot of technical stuff. We used Logic Pro and I must say it is quite intuitive, and for the rest, there are YouTube tutorials. It was basically a trial and error strategy, and as time went by, we got quicker and better.
Are you very conscious of creating a specific mood for each song as it is being produced or is the creative process more spontaneous? And what emotions do you feel now when you listen back to the songs?
Mike: We don't create the mood. Some situations set us in a certain mood which inspires us to write a song in a certain way.
Thorunn: And our musical taste, which I feel mostly inside my stomach and my brain, guides us. I am very opinionated, and it helps me defining whether something sounds right or not.
You released a gorgeous cover of Rufus Wainwright’s “Going To A Town” earlier this year as a taster for the album. Why did you choose this song and what has the reaction been from the media and from your audience?
Thorunn: Originally, we were thinking of [opening track] “That's my Rock’n’Roll” or “Another Year” but our Berlin-based label and our London-based promotion agency thought that it would be a great move to shine the light on a cover song. We do not care in what order our songs are published or promoted, as long as we have a motivated crew behind us. So, we agreed to this and feel happy about the positive reviews we earned subsequently.
Are any concerts planned in support of the album later this year when confinement restrictions are eased? Did you consider delaying its release due to the current situation?
Thorunn: We did consider delaying briefly but then decided to go on. After all, people can listen to music at home, can't they?
Mike: Of course, there are concerts planned but due to the situation we don't know the exact dates yet. There is only one that has been delayed until May next year. We will update our followers via our social media channels.