Waves is Azure Ray’s 8th studio release, and first new recordings in 6 years. Recorded over several sessions in Joshua Tree and Los Angeles, Waves was co-produced by Azure Ray and Louis Schefano and mixed by Andy LeMaster, and is the first Azure Ray release on Flower Moon Records (owned & operated by Maria Taylor). Azure Ray’s self-titled debut and follow-up record, Burn and Shiver, were also re-released on Flower Moon Records in 2018.
2. Last Summer in Omaha
3. Nightswimming (R.E.M. cover)
4. Hold On Love (2018)
5. Palindrome (Reprise)
A few months ago, we received a heavy, nondescript brown box covered in “magnetic media” stickers. Inside were the original reels from the first Azure Ray record (including some songs or versions that never made the final cut). Something about seeing the giant antiquated grey metal boxes made us nostalgic for those early recordings. There we were, barely 20, in our tiny, messy apartment in Athens, GA trying to cope with the tragic loss of Maria’s boyfriend, a fellow musician who was taken way before his time. Grief ended our first band, but we eventually turned to song-writing again; and the cathartic exercise thrust upon us by tragedy ultimately led to the birth of Azure Ray.
We actually had been talking about writing and playing shows again as Azure Ray for a while when that box of reels arrived. Around that same time, we booked our first reunion show since 2013. The sold-out crowd packed the beautiful, ornate building from wall-to-wall and the stage was decorated with hundreds of white lilies bathed blue light. Reuniting as Azure Ray again for the first time in a decade was a turning point for both of us after all that had changed in our lives over the last few years.
Less than a year since our most recent “reunion” show, we are excited to announce our new EP, Waves The same Azure Ray that wrote “Sleep,” “Rise,” “November” and more isn’t just back again – we’re here as we’ve always been. This EP was about revisiting what Azure Ray has meant to us – and felt like to the listener – over the last 18 years. So for the last few months we’ve been demoing songs back and forth over email and Facetime between Omaha and Los Angeles, until this August when we packed up a car and drove out to a house in Joshua Tree to record. These songs are both a yearning and nostalgia for the Azure Ray of the past, and new perspectives on how and why we make music – with 18 years of love, life, and loss in between. It’s a record we’ve been aching to write – without even knowing it – just like the first one almost 2 decades ago. So today, we’re excited to share with you our favorite Azure Ray songs in years.
– Maria and Orenda
Maria Taylor: vocals, electric & acoustic guitar, drums, keyboard & piano, string arrangements
Orenda Fink: vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboard, bass
Louis Schefano: background vocals, electric guitar, drum programming
Macey Taylor Sr: Harmonica
Thomas Macey Taylor Jr: Bass
Tiffany Osborn: Violin
Recorded in Joshua Tree & Los Angeles, CA, except Harmonica & Bass (4) by Macey Taylor Sr. in Birmingham, AL.
Produced by Azure Ray and Louis Schefano
Engineered by Louis Schefano
Mixed by Andy LeMaster ( 1 & 2) and Azure Ray & Louis Schefano (3, 4, & 5)
Mastered by Doug Van Sloan at Focus Mastering (Omaha, NE)
All songs written by Azure Ray, except “Nightswimming” by R.E.M.
Cover Photography by Jess Ewald
Creative Direction by Ryan Dwyer
Oct. 25, 2018
KRCW EXCLUSIVE: AZURE RAY “LAST SUMMER IN OMAHA” PREMIERE
From KCRW: “It’s been a minute – well actually six years – since we’ve gotten new music from the lovely collaboration of Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink, known as Azure Ray. We’re beyond excited to offer you the first glimpse of that new EP as we premiere the video for the hauntingly beautiful “Last Summer In Omaha.” Read more here from KCRW and watch it here!
Oct. 24, 2018
BILLBOARD: AZURE RAY’S DEBUTS HEARTFELT VERSION OF 2003 TRACK “HOLD ON LOVE”
From Billboard: “They've already shared the cheeky "Palindrome" video, and today you can check out their reimagination of 2003's “Hold On Love”… “For the 15th anniversary of our record Hold on Love we re-imagined the title track with the help of Louis Schefano and Maria’s father and brother, Macey Sr and Jr,” the duo tells Billboard. “It reflects the live version that we came to love playing through the years.” Listen here.
Oct. 19, 2018
BILLBOARD EXCLUSIVE: AZURE RAY PREMIERES FIRST NEW MUSIC IN SIX YEARS WITH CLEVER ‘PALINDROME’ VIDEO
“Azure Ray is back. The dream pop duo comprised of Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink is set to release its first music since 2012 with its new Waves EP, due Oct. 26. Its lead track arrives below with a cheekily irreverent music video…” Watch at Billboard.
Oct. 11, 2018
“PALINDROME” IS KCRW’S “TOP TUNE”
Get a free download of our new single, “Palindrome,” from KCRW here.
Sept. 26, 2018
STEREOGUM PREMIERE: AZURE RAY ‘PALINDROME’
The first single, “Palindrome,” is a backwards-looking, mournful string-driven ballad which offers the best of the band’s spectral harmonies, woodsy storytelling and aching wisdom. Stream the first single here.