Brighton shoegaze luminaries Air Formation return on September 25th with ‘Were We Ever Here’, their first new material since reforming in 2014. Loosely based around the group of songs they were working on in 2010 before their split, the band worked on the EP in secret, stating “We thought it would be a more exciting, organic, experience if we just got on with it un-announced and released it as fast as we could.”
Air Formation formed in 2000, long before their spiritual forebears Slowdive and Loop were once again considered acceptable influences. Since signing to Club AC30, long a bastion of the modern shoegaze sound, in 2005, the band gained a devoted following and for albums such as 2007’s Daylight Storms (which was mastered by alternative rock legend Kramer) and their final LP, Nothing To Wish For (Nothing to Lose), in 2010. Their incendiary live show also saw them share stages with the likes of Vessels andEfterklang.
Ten years on from their first release for Club AC30, the 57 Octaves Below EP, the four songs on ‘Were We Ever Here’ cover every corner of Air Formation’s sound, whilst adding surprising new touches. The swathes of feedback and distortion are all present and correct, along with swooping New Order synths. Slow-building opener ‘I Could Stay’ comes to life in a swooning burst of fuzzed-up bass and hyperactive Ride-like drums. Closing track ‘The Wasted Days’ takes the entire EP into another gear, shifting from kinetic drone-pop to expansive post-rock territory, bringing this record to a close in a shower of noise.
Say the band themselves: “We really feel 'Were We Ever Here' showcases the best of Air Formation, but then takes it on a different path to any of the music has come before.” While their break-up in 2011 involved no fireworks or fistfights, the band do admit that “what once felt effortless and exciting was becoming hard to hold together, and that is no way to make music.” ‘Were We Ever Here’ suggests that the band’s spark has returned. With a vengeance.
Track list: I Could Stay / Last Resolve / On the Floor / The Wasted Days