At one moment a prog-rock band, the next an Irish-Scottish-Norwegian trad band, then an experimental indie-jazz band, then somehow all of these at once, Aerialists have alchemized diverse influences into a sound with striking clarity. It’s ethereal yet precise, technical yet visceral. Formed nearly a decade ago by harpist Màiri Chaimbeul, fiddler Elise Boeur, and guitarist Adam Iredale-Gray, now with three albums, a JUNO nomination, and Canadian Folk Music Award for Pushing The Boundaries under their belt, Aerialists have staked their claim on the leading edge of the neo-folk world.
The band’s arrangements assert the belief that a harp can groove like a drum kit, that a fiddle can be more ferocious than a distorted electric guitar, and that traditional tunes are sturdy and flexible enough to thrive in the seemingly inhospitable landscape of indie-rock instrumentation. Their upcoming record I Lost My Heart On Friday (Spring 2024) is a celebration of their deep roots in Scottish, Irish, and Nordic folk traditions, seen through a distinctly Canadian lens.