Azure Ray Debuts Heartfelt New Version Of 2003 Track 'Hold On Love': Exclusive

Azure Ray
Jess Ewald

Azure Ray

Dream pop duo Azure Ray emerged out of the Omaha, Neb. indie rock scene in the early ‘00s, alongside Saddle Creek Records standbys like Bright Eyes, Cursive, and the Faint. Azure Ray put out two well-received albums and a handful of singles and EPs on the iconic imprint, though the group’s activity became less and less regular this decade. 

As 2018 draws to a close, however, members Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink have reignited Azure Ray. On Oct. 26, they’ll release an elegant, five-song EP titled Waves, featuring their first new recordings in six years. Waves glides through the narrative trajectory of a whole album over its tidy 15 minutes: a couple new songs, a cover of an alt-rock classic (R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming”), a reworking of an old standby, a wispy coda reprising the opening track (titled “Palindrome,” quite appropriately). 

They've already shared the cheeky "Palindrome" video, and today (Oct. 24), you can check out their reimagination of 2003's “Hold On Love,” premiering exclusively with Billboard

“For the 15th anniversary of our record Hold on Love we re-imagined the title track with the help of Louis Schefano and Maria’s father and brother, Macey Sr and Jr,” the duo tells Billboard. “It reflects the live version that we came to love playing through the years.”

Where the 2003 original was airy, twinkly, and almost percussion-less, the new rendition adds the rhythmic backbone of bass and percussion, as well as some soothing acoustic-electric guitar interplay. It's a new entity itself, but it holds on to the original spirit of the song. 

Waves is available for pre-order here, via Flower Moon Records, the independent label Taylor founded in 2016. 

Listen to "Hold On Love" one day early below.