Today’s song is yet another from the old trusty mailbag. About a month ago, a guy from a Greek record label that I’d never heard of sent me a couple of their newest releases. Today’s song comes from one of them.
Good Weather For An Airstrike is a one-man ambient/post-rock recording project founded by Tom Honey in Winchester, England. A small “cathedral city” now, Winchester was the capital city of England a thousand years ago.
Tom Honey founded the project in 2009 as a way to alleviate the symptoms of his tinnitus. He started creating soundscapes of piano, processed guitars, banjo, strings, and tape loops to create soothing atmospheric sounds evocative of post-rock. Or as he says, “a diluted form of post-rock”. As far as I can tell, Lights is the third full-length album.
He took the name for his project from the fantastic Sigur Rós record Ágætis Byrjun (1999). That album is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the first Sigur Rós record simply because it was the first one to be released in the United States. In reality, it’s their second. For the record, Ágætis Byrjun translates from Icelandic to something like “A Good Start” in English. More on that some other day. One of the songs from that album is “Viðrar vel til loftárása”, which translates to “Good Weather For An Airstrike”. So that’s where Honey got the name for his recording project. Sigur Rós took it from a sarcastic Icelandic weatherman.
It’s also worth pointing out that the typesetting used on the cover of Light is the same as that used on Ágætis Byrjun. Shelley Allegro. Other Good Weather For An Airstrike albums use other typesettings that I find to be offensive. As much as I like Light, and Ágætis Byrjun, I also find Shelley Allegro to be offensive. I’m just pointing out another connection to Sigur Rós.
This post isn’t about Sigur Rós, but it’s important to point out where this strange name comes from.
After listening to the album a few times in a few different environments through a variety of different amplification methods, I’ll suggest that you listen to today’s song through a nice set of headphones.
“Storm Fronts Collide” by Good Weather For An Airstrike
There’s a piano loop playing throughout, and I don’t really have a problem with it. That news report you hear at the very beginning is about the Paris Peace Accords of 1973. That cease-fire agreement was supposed to end hostilities in the Vietnam War. The accords got American boots out of South Vietnam, and allowed the release of prisoners of war, but had little to no effect on the actual conflict. Again, that’s not why we’re here today.
I really like how soothing the strings are and how that bit plays off the piano bit. Then at 2:48, the banjo just barely starts to come in. As the news report and the faint bass part fade out, the banjo bit fades in. I’m a big fan of that. So by the end, it’s just that persistent piano loop and the banjo.
Listen to this more than once. You might not fully appreciate it the first time. I promise that you’ll “get it” by the second time. It’s so relaxing. So calming. And I insist that you listen to it with full attention. This is part of why I suggest headphones. Don’t let the kids or the teevee or your spouse or your boss or your coworkers distract you. Immerse yourself in the warm bath of this song and you’ll be greatly rewarded.
You can buy a digital copy of Lights from the Good Weather For An Airstrike bandcamp page here. You can also get a physical CD copy there. This is a very limited edition of 200 handmade hand-numbered copies.
Please continue to send things to the mailbag. I really prefer album downloads (or physical copies), and I’ll have an easier time of things if you include an EPK or a one-sheet. Send stuff to the virtual mailbag at: dlee(at)thisisthatsong(dot)com or to the physical mailbag. See details in the “mail bag” tab.