You may have seen a music group sweeping across the internet this year with classical covers of popular Irish songs.
The group is called New Airs and they have gained a lot of popularity with their incredible performances.
The man behind New Airs is Glen Austin. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his compositions and arrangements, and is now working alongside some of the leading musicians in the country.
The group has performed beautiful covers of classic hits from the biggest artists in the world, such as U2, Simple Minds, Fleetwood Mac and Kings of Leon.
Glen was kind enough to talk to us about the rise of New Airs, and explain how it all started.
He said: “I started New Airs in 2015 as a collaboration with RTE Contempo Quartet. I arranged and produced an album of Instrumental arrangements of classic Irish rock, pop and folk songs and it was called New Airs. That album’s lead single was the arrangement of With or With Out You, it was released on YouTube and it has now gone viral with 2.5 million views.
“After the album release I started to record live pop up studio recordings of New Airs arrangements at unique venues around Ireland. The idea was to capture what the group sounds like live against the background of beautiful locations and venues such as the Oriel Gallery in Dublin and All Hallows Church.
“In 2016 we were joined by the amazing Rachel Voloczi on vocals. Rachel is one of the best singers in the world and she is also the video editor and producer so she is very much multi-talented!
“One of the highlights of 2016 was having our arrangement of the Simple Mind’s song Don’t You Forget About Me shared by Jimm Kerr on their social media pages, he quoted with the post: ‘A beautiful version of Don’t You Forget about Me’ – Jim Kerr (Lead singer Simple Minds).
“We continued in 2017 with a collaboration with the Irish rock legend Liam Ó Maonlaí of the Hot House Flowers in an arrangement of Liam’s song Worry Not. It was amazing to collaborate with such an accomplished artist!
“2018 saw us collaborate more with original artists such as the American Singer Songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman. Beth has written and collaborated with iconic artists including Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, Beth Midler, Bonnie Raitt among other celebrated and renowned American folk artists. The celebrated Irish Singer Songwriter Mundy also joined us for a recording of Sarah of the Slopes that is our most recent release.
“2019 has seen the release of more of our collaborations with celebrated Irish and International artists and we have very much enjoyed sharing these recordings with our audience. Make sure to subscribe to New Airs YouTube Channel for all the latest videos. Our current view rate is at 4 million so were are delighted that so many viewers around the globe have connected with what we do!
“We also perform live at festivals and concerts and we love connecting with the audience in person.
“We love creating music and capturing it live for our audience. It has been a pleasure to work with some of the best artists in the industry both as members of the group and as collaborations with other artists and I look forward to our next step on this musical journey!”
Our new album is called Studio Sessions. This is a collection of our most popular recordings from our YouTube channel.
This is a collection of chamber ensemble arrangements in different combinations performing songs by artists such as U2, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Simple Minds, Kings of Leon, Taylor Swift, and Ed Sheeran.
The songs were recorded live at unique venues around Ireland such as Smock Alley Theatre, The Oriel Gallery and The O’Reilly Theatre.
New Airs are definitely capturing the attention of music lovers and fans online. Thanks to Glen for taking time out to talk about the journey so far.
Take a look at some of New Airs’ videos below, or click on the links to visit their social media pages.