PAN M 360: Could you tell me about the recording process of Earth Then Air and the atmosphere working in Banff Centre?
Alexia Avina: It was ideal. We met every day in the studio and wrote music. I think we did really create a song pretty much every day, our work ethic was reciprocal, but more than that we were just having fun and vibing. We had plenty of time to take in the rest of the center as well.
PAN M 360: There are so many instruments on this record, it’s hard to picture just the two of you playing everything?
Alexia Avina: We did work more collaboratively on this record than our previous releases, sharing that load. Nick played one of the guitar parts, I played some bits on the piano and vibraphone.
PAN M 360: The album is very ambient but also dreamy in the lyrics, was this the idea to go for from day one?
Alexia Avina: I think that’s just what happens organically when our energies meet as songwriters. It wasn’t a specific intention. I think the only clear intentions were to write music that was more organic than purely electronic, and to have lyrics that were uplifting and universal.
PAN M 360: Have you been able to play the album live at all? They must be stripped back versions of the songs?
Alexia Avina: We have been. The songs are slightly stripped back in certain ways, sure, but I think we do a good job of still making it sound full as we use samples, etc.
PAN M 360: What kind of music were you listening to for not only inspiration but background while working on the album?
Alexia Avina: I don’t think we were listening to music as a part of the process of creating the record at this time. I can’t really recall what I was listening to, only that I recorded a cover of Linger at the same time, so I probably was listening to sappy shoegazy love songs.
PAN M 360: Were you able to take in the nature around Banff? Go on hikes or anything like that?
Alexia Avina: Definitely. We went on a few hikes. The scenery is unreal, the kind where it’s too much for your brain to comprehend the level of magnitude and power.
PAN M 360: The track order seems very important, as tracks kind of bleed into one another. Did it take awhile to come up with the order?
Alexia Avina We did have a few different iterations of tracklisting and in the end this is the one we landed on. The songs are from several years back, so I think coming up with an order was an exercise in itself, as it kind of felt like we were approaching the collections of songs with a new energy.
PAN M 360: Where did the title Earth Then Air come from?
Alexia Avina: Our previous work had been quite swirly and ethereal and we wanted to create something more grounded through incorporating acoustic instruments. The title kind of points to that relational shift in our work.