It’s that time of year when media sites spend a great deal of time fixated on their Year in Reviews, trying to recap the past 12 months in condensed, bite-sized hot takes that run from celebratory (song of the year!) to solemn (cue up Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died” and build your own montage).
For Boston’s Airport, the end of the year is certainly about reflecting, but their mindset stretches in reverse way further back than this past January. As guitarist/vocalist Craig Small is fully aware, Airport are all about transporting the listener back to the glory days of ’70s AM radio, and their new track “On A Plane” is the musical conduit to take us there.
“On A Plane”, which we are premiering on Vanyaland this morning, is the closing track off Airport’s new record, Everything Old Is New, which is also out today and arrives just in time for the band’s show Thursday (December 15) at the DCF Kids Funs benefit at Once Ballroom in Somerville.
Small tells us that “On A Plane” was “written during a time when I was away from home much too often for my liking, missing everything about regular life. Actually on a plane, soaring, looking out the window, feeling sorry for myself, longing. I was also on a Who kick, specifically, Who’s Next, and was just in love with huge open, chiming chords and everything about early ’70s Who. Chords that make you want to do windmills at the edge of the stage while playing a Les Paul slung much too low. Mike Martino (drums) channels Keith Moon during the outro, he plays amazingly on this song. And Mike Oram (guitar) plays a beautiful, soaring-to-cacauphonic solo. Tension and release. There’s also cello and pedal steel. It’s nuts.”
As for Everything Old Is New, Small says the title is both a metaphor and quite literal (the record is a mix of newer tracks and some of the first-ever Airport compositions), and he hopes that it catches on for thkose who appreciate a certain timelessness to their music. “Smooth grooves, catchy melodies, killer chord changes, and great sounds,” Small says. “If I can’t imagine hearing the song as a little kid, sitting in the backseat of a car with the window rolled down and the world whipping by, it doesn’t stick. We try to create postcards from the past, not time machines. Old postcards, that seem fresh…and new.”
Featured Airport photo by Johnny Anguish.