Air Inspired By Classical Music On New Album

Air indulges in the non-rock influence of Philip Glass' "Einstein on the Beach" and "The Photographer" on its upcoming album, "Pocket Symphony."

Air indulges in the non-rock influence of Philip Glass' "Einstein on the Beach" and "The Photographer" on its upcoming album, "Pocket Symphony." As previously reported, the 12-track set is due March 6 via Astralwerks.

Group member J.B. Dunckel tells Billboard.com Air was "in a very zen mood" and was "very influenced by classical music" on the album, the follow-up to 2004's "Talkie Walkie." Elsewhere, the tracks "Once Upon a Time," "Night Vision" and "Napalm Love" were reclaimed from the soundtrack to the Sofia Coppola film "Marie Antoinette," for which they were originally intended.

Dunckel and partner Nicolas Godin also availed themselves of the services of former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker and the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon, with whom they'd first worked on French actress/singer Charlotte Gainsbourg's "5:55." That set will finally see U.S. release April 25 via Vice/Atlantic.

"They were hired to write lyrics for Charlotte. So, we did the music and they did the lyrics," Dunckel explains. "I think we were really influenced by working on the Gainsbourg album. We discovered that we were good at playing together -- I was on the piano and Nicolas was on the guitar."

And although details are still being confirmed, Air plans to start a world tour this March in Sheffield, England. "We'll rehearse for three weeks prior, that's it," says Godin. "It takes awhile to organize all of the keyboards -- we like to have a clear way to have the songs during the show."