Upon listening to Japan-based folk duo Nature Airliner’s music for the first time, their sound feels like a blast from the past and a breath of fresh air all in one go. Never did I think that those two phrases would ever work in tandem, but the husband-and-wife duo’s soothing discography has certainly proved me wrong. With a sound inspired by 60s and 70s folk giants such as Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan; and vocals that draw from the likes of Freddie Mercury and Stevie Nicks, the easygoing duo composed of Laurier and Eiko are here to prove that simplicity and authenticity can speak louder than the grandest arrangements.
Q: As a husband-and-wife duo, you guys have an offering that is quite unique. How did you meet and decide to start this band?
Eiko: I decided to post a personal ad because I was fed up with meeting guys in bars. Laurier was hooked by my ad. Two years after we got married, Laurier begged me to sing for a new folk duo he wanted to start.
Q: Laurier, you've often said that you are enamoured with Eiko's voice. What is it about it that you love so much?
Laurier: To quote a Leonard Cohen lyric, from the first time I heard her sing, it was, “A voice that sounds like God to me…”. To my ears, heart and soul, she has the clearest, strongest and warmest voice I have ever heard. It’s like the Archangel Gabriel. Haha.
Q: Your music is very much rooted in the folk genre with simple arrangements and warm melodies. Given the ever-changing and updating music scene in Japan, was it tough to stay true to your own style?
Laurier: J-pop and K-pop seem to dominate the charts in Japan, and most people are used to hearing music that is built up on forty-eight or ninety-six tracks or whatever, so it is sometimes shocking for people to hear us make music that is intentionally simple. Many people actually have tried to get us to add more members and more instruments, but I think that when the overwhelming majority of musical acts are drowning in complicated arrangements, our staunch simplicity can be a welcome relief to many people who would prefer an alternative.