Airways’ latest track “Will It Tear Us Apart” shatters their two-year release silence and also hints at more to come. Hard-hitting bass and guitars set the tone for frontman Jake Daniels to question: are all relationships doomed to either crash and burn or fade into indifference? As he ponders this, Daniels sings of all the different things that could go wrong and steadies himself for every possible outcome.
This single is only the beginning of a planned string of releases that will eventually lead to Airways’ debut record. For Airways, an album has been a long time coming. For years they have sporadically released singles (along with an EP in 2017). In the midst of those releases, they hit the road with The Hunna, Nothing But Thieves, The Maine, and others, covering ground across both Europe and the United States. Without the road stretching before them, the trio has had the time to be intentional with their releases and plot out the road ahead to their record.
Before the world shut down, the three made their way to Southend, UK to record their album at SS2 Recording. Under the wing of Nothing But Thieves’ Dom Craik, they spent long days bringing their songs to life. Many of these songs have been played live for years, and have aged with the band as they jumped from pub shows to sold out headlines. During the recording period they spent cold January nights in an Airstream trailer in the nearby English countryside. “Love Island was on that week as well, so me and Jake had to stop every night at 8pm to watch it,” says bassist Jamie Reynolds.
“It kind of felt like we were entering the next stage that the band was going to be in, in terms of a debut album, and then comes Covid that knocks us off our horse,” says Reynolds. But the trio has made it work despite all odds since day one. Daniels met drummer Brian Moroney while they were both in Los Angeles. Something clicked, and Moroney moved to Peterborough, UK, (Daniels’ hometown) to start a band. “To leave America to come to Peterborough was just stupid,” reflect Daniels. “But in that optimism somewhere we knew there was a band. I think we just kept chopping away at it, kept chopping the onion until it’s diced. Then all of a sudden, we had a fucking stir fry.” Once Reynolds rounded out the lineup, Airways spent months rehearsing in Peterborough and figuring out what they were.
Since then, Airways’ sound has wavered from indie (on 2016’s “Ghost Town”) to alt rock (on 2017’s Starting To Spin) to alt pop (on 2019’s “Trampoline”). Each of these stops along the way have been breadcrumbs leading to a sound that is entirely Airways. “What I’ve always thought of our sound and what’s made it cohesive really does come down to Jake’s vocals or the melodies and the lyrics,” explains Moroney. “There is definitely still a wide spectrum sonically where everything is fitting. I think the hope is that this is an album where someone can start at the start, go all the way through and not just feel like they’re listening to the same few songs over and over again.”