New Airs have just released their version of the classic Ain't No Ash Will Burn. We ask the group's Rachel Voloczi the BIG questions...
Tell us three things about yourself?
I'm the singer in New Airs but I am also the assistant producer and videographer for the group. I love filmmaking and the process of video production. I met Glen Austin [New Airs songwriter and arranger] studying music together at DIT. I've always had an interest in behaviour and the human mind, so after studying music I pursued psychology and received my degree and Masters in that area.
How would you describe your music?
New Airs combines classical, folk, rock and pop with an eclectic mix of instruments.
Who are your musical inspirations?
I listen to everything from new and old film scores to rock, pop, folk and classical. If I had to name just a few artists, they would be Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Fleetwood Mac, The Cranberries, and Elvis - but the list goes on! An Irish artist who has inspired me is Liam Ó Maonlaí. I sang with Liam on a New Airs recording a few years ago. It was a different take on his song Worry Not. We didn't really rehearse it at all, instead we pressed 'record' and improvised our way through Glen's arrangement. It is a style of performing that I've always been drawn to - to see Liam do it with such ease and 'comfortability' gave me more confidence to enjoy the art of improvisation and to trust my instinct. At over seven minutes long, the song is much longer than Glen's original arrangement and comes to an end naturally. When I listen back to it now, there are certain parts in particular that we couldn't capture again and I found this very musically inspiring and it definitely had an impact on me.
How did you occupy yourself during the coronavirus lockdown?
I decided I better make proper use of this time and got stuck into editing and producing some of the New Airs videos that were recorded late last year. I was very happy to release a version of A Satisfied Mind with John Conroy on electric guitar. I actually recorded a selection of songs with John and the latest, Ain't No Ash Will Burn, was just released this week. New Airs also collaborated with Mundy on a version of his beautiful song Beaconette and we released that in July. We are working on an original album at the moment so it was a good opportunity to work with Glen on new material.
What's your favourite song right now?
I recently watched The Last Dance on Netflix, a documentary about Michael Jordan's career with the Chicago Bulls. The Massive Attack song Teardrop, covered by José González, came on during an emotional part in the documentary and, with the help of this song, the scene brought me to tears. I had never heard that version before and googled it straight away. It's been on repeat the last while.
Favourite lyric of all time?
"How many times have you heard someone say
'If I had money, I would do things my way?'
But little they know that it's so hard to find
One rich man in ten with a satisfied mind"
- A Satisfied Mind
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
This is a really difficult question! But, I would probably say Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay. It's a beautiful melody, with a free spirit vibe.
Where can people find your music/more information?
New Airs is based on YouTube; we record live videos that we post on our channel so people can subscribe for all our latest music there. We are also on Spotify.