There’s a “Banshee” around and it’s arrived just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t know what we’re talking about? A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology. That’s about as detailed as we’re going to get so head to Wikipedia if you want more…
This said, the “Banshee” we’re talking about in this instance is the new music video from Portland, by way of Alaska, quintet Ayla Ray. The song comes from the art metallers’ November-released, self-titled debut record, a truly impressive collection of ten tracks full of interesting sounds that catch you off guard from song to song.
When asked about “Banshee” and its video, lead singer Sam Tenhoff had a lot to say. “A few years in the making, this first album has been a process of discovery and development. We’re pulling from a lot of different backgrounds and inspirations within the band and also that inevitable evolution of sound that comes from refining a body of work over time. At the same time, the core messages we’re trying to channel and the stories we’re drawing from only come more clearly into focus through that process and I think ‘Banshee’ really hits on the intention of working with one’s demons and balancing the opposing forces that exist within all of us and ultimately are what make us gorgeous. This song represents our internal chaos, the war inside everyone between the wild banshee and the comfort zone. We would be colorless without it, but left unchecked it becomes us. It would be a mistake to bottle one for the other, and there is so much power in that chaotic engine that can be harnessed with positive intent.
The video came about through a few different avenues and we’re really stoked about how it all came together. Last fall’s Alaska tour was an amazing opportunity to capture that unique communal magic of throwing down on your home turf, and with the dance sequences and studio shots we had some room to play and express different facets of what the song means to us. All in all, we have so many wonderful, talented humans to thank for being a part of this video, and can’t wait to come out with tons more material this year!”
What’s most notable about the record is that no two songs sound the same. It’s almost erroneous to refer to them as metal because they are so much more than that. The foundations of Ayla Ray center around Tenhoff and bassist Raven Liss who grew up together in Alaska. They then made their way to Portland where they formed Ayla Ray and started to meld their background in rock with undertones of electronic music, soul and R&B. What you have now is a young band with musical maturity well beyond their years who promises to deliver some of the most diverse metal in your ever-growing music collection for a long time to come.