Northern Ireland's And So I Watch You From Afar (ASIWYFA) announce their return today with their forthcoming album The Endless Shimmering. This will be the eclectic quartet's fifth full-length album following on from their widely acclaimed album Heirs. Alongside the album announcement, the band premiered a video for the first single, "A Slow Unfolding Of Wings" WATCH BELOW:
In support of the album, ASIWYFA launch an extensive EU/UK tour this Fall. They will be joined by Gallops for all of their UK dates. Please see complete dates below. ASIWYFA have a relentless thirst for touring and over the past 7-years they have tallied up almost 500 shows worldwide -- including less common tour stops such as China, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
FULL BIO & TOUR DATES BELOW
Instinct. We all know what it is, but are hard-pressed to acknowledge just how it guides us. Instinct subtly defines our identities, despite our attempts to defy it. The Endless Shimmering, the fifth album by Belfast, Northern Ireland quartet And So I Watch You From Afar, is the sound of a band operating on its pure instincts.
Every individual is an algorithm of prior lives and experience acting as its own sovereign entity. Every band is itself a combined algorithm of those instincts, driven by an unconscious will to replicate itself in the world as if it were flesh and blood like the people who embody it. The Endless Shimmering is visceral and expressive -- decidedly alive and purely instinctual; not conceptualized or postured. It's ASIWYFA -- guitarists Rory Friers and Niall Kennedy, bassist Johnathan Adger and drummer Chris Wee -- manifest as a being beyond itself.
"We laid everything bare and put everything we had into the songs," Adger says. "And we hope people can feel that and use that without us having to be too overt in how we present it. The album was charged with a lot of what we were all going through as individuals, but we wanted to allow it to become people's soundtrack to whatever they need in their life at this moment."
Perhaps the most immediately noticeable difference on this album is that the ensemble vocals of the previous recordings Heirs and All Hail Bright Futures is dialed back considerably to allow the music to come to the fore. The difference gives the musicians freedom to stretch out and truly shine as performers.
The decision was made early on that this record would not be rushed toward completion and the band allowed themselves the time to let it come together organically. "We wrote around 30 tracks before deciding these 9 tracks would make the record," Friers explains. "We then spent a long time playing them every day to allow them to become almost as if we'd already toured them, ingrained in our muscle memory."
The band flew to Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket, RI in March 2017, aiming specifically to record live performances of the songs. Just as they arrived, a major snow storm brought the Northeast coast to a standstill. "We tracked, ate, washed and slept at the studio," Friers says. "And 9 days later we had recorded and mixed the entire album just as the snow began to melt."
The album opens with a brief, hushed guitar murmur as Wee's forceful galloping beat sets course on "Three Triangles" while the guitars seem to slowly awaken with whining notes that slowly build upon one another until it all abruptly halts. The whole band suddenly kicks in with chopping start and stop blasts as the chirping lead melody leads the proceedings toward a swirling apex. Elsewhere, "All I Need is Space" and "Terrors of Pleasure" show the band at their finest, unfolding complex, bobbing guitar figures over propulsive and jagged rhythms, while occasionally lunging into ethereal blooms at the drop of a hat. The title track's unabashedly beautiful and hopeful melody begins so quietly it's as if it tries to sneak in under the radar as palm-muted arpeggiated chords and a clean plucked single note line asserts an optimism that finally infects the rest of the band, as they join the chorus of, well, near endless shimmering. Album closer "Chrysalism" is just the anthemic rush that makes ASIWYFA's live shows such transcendent experiences.
The Endless Shimmering will be available everywhere on LP, CD and download on October 20th, 2017 via Sargent House.
ASIWYFA TOUR 2017
OCT 18 Haarlem, NL // Patronaat
OCT 19 Utrecht, NL // EKKO
OCT 20 Nijmegen, NL // Doornroosje (Purple Room)
OCT 21 Osnabrück, DE // KI. Freiheit
OCT 22 Karlsruhe, DE // Stadtmitte
OCT 23 Eindhoven, NL // DDWMusic Festival
OCT 24 Rouen, FR // Le 106 Club
OCT 25 Nantes, FR // Le Ferrailleur
OCT 26 Bordeaux, FR // Le Void
OCT 27 Barcelona, ES // AM Fest
OCT 28 Madrid, ES // Sala Caracol
OCT 29 Porto, PT // Hard Club
OCT 30 Lisbon, PT // Musicbox
NOV 02 Milan, IT // Magnolia
NOV 03 Fribourg, CH // Nouveau Monde
NOV 04 Winterthur, CH // Gaswerk
NOV 05 Pratteln, CH // MiniZ7
NOV 06 München, DE // Ampere
NOV 07 Prague, CZ // NoD Teatro
NOV 08 Leipzig, DE // Conne Island
NOV 09 Berlin, DE // Lido
NOV 10 Hannover, DE // Bei Chez Heinz
NOV 12 Cologne, DE // Gebäude 9
NOV 13 Wiesbaden, DE // Schlachthof
NOV 14 Essen, DE // Zeche Carl
NOV 15 Hamburg, DE // Knust
NOV 16 Groningen, NL // Vera
NOV 17 Maastricht, NL // Muziekgieterij
NOV 18 Louvain-La-Neuve, BE // Festival La Ferme
NOV 19 Kortrijk, BE // De Kreun
NOV 21 Paris, FR // Maroquinerie
NOV 22 Luxembourg, LU // Rockhal
NOV 23 London, UK // Koko
NOV 24 Manchester, UK // Academy 2
NOV 25 Glasgow, UK // Oran Mor
NOV 26 Bristol, UK // Thekla
DEC 28 Dublin, Ireland // Academy
DEC 29 Castlebar Co Mayo, Ireland // Garbo's
DEC 30 Cork, Ireland // Cypress Avenue
DEC 31 Galway, Ireland // Roisin Dubh