2008’s stunning No Way Down EP, the second release from Swedish indie-pop duo Air France, was actually too good. The band called it quits today on their Tumblr, citing the difficulties and expectations surrounding the EP’s follow-up as the primary factor in the decision. They wrote: “We’ve never been able to finish anything, nothing was ever good enough. We have tried so hard, and we truly gave it all we had. And now we have decided to stop trying, even though it breaks our hearts.”
The No Way Down EP was our 30th favorite release of 2008, though upon re-consideration I should have placed it in the top ten. It’s such a beautiful album, with their mixture of loops and instrumentation producing a Utopian atmosphere filled with ocean breezes, swaying palm trees, and your favorite acquaintances. It’s a feel unrivaled by most albums since then.
You can listen to their most recent (and apparently final) single, the floaty “It Feels Good To Be Around You”, below. It’s another great encapsulation of their tropically breezy sound:
And here’s “No Excuses”, one of six excellent efforts on No Way Down:
We’ll make this brief, because it hurts too much.
During the first year of Air France, somewhere in the middle of the last decade, everything seemed to come so easily. At least it feels like that right now. We’d meet on friday nights to drink wine, listen to music and picture ourselves far off, somewhere on the outskirts on the big map Henrik had on his wall. The songs we made during those nights weren’t really supposed to ever leave the hard drive, but somehow they did, and somehow they took us to almost all the places on that big map we had dreamt about. We got to play records at the Rough Trade store in London, we went to the Red Square, we woke up on Iceland during a volcanic eruption, we drank beer at the cliffs of the Niagara, we spent a night in a freezing staircase in Warzaw (otherwise a fantastic weekend), we saw dolphins in the waters of LA, we got a smile from Larry David as he passed us on a street in Paris, watching us trying to open a bottle of wine, we played records for 4 hours under a blistering July sun in New York, we spent a day in the most beautiful spa in Budapest, we’ve heard our nervous voices on radio and TV, we’ve played records after two sold out Saint Etienne shows (but to be honest, only a handful stayed behind to see us), we’ve written a song together with our idol Clare Grogan (although we did managed to botch it) and we got sampled by Lil B. But it’s the little moments that has been the most dear to our hearts, like the days and nights in Brackenbury Village that we spent in our manager’s back yard with his wonderful wife and sons, who made us feel like part of the family, or being drunk on airplanes, just the two of us, and all the people we’ve been fortunate enough to get to know, if only for a night.
And we have probably produced 7 albums since No Way Down; a UK Garage record, a house record, an r ‘n’ b record… but we’ve never been able to finish anything, nothing was ever good enough. We have tried so hard, and we truly gave it all we had. And now we have decided to stop trying, even though it breaks our hearts. But for all the reasons mentioned above, and for a thousand more, we don’t regret a thing.
We wish we could thank all the people who has helped and inspired us, but we’d probably forget to mention half of you, so here’s just a big thank you to those who were involved in the making of the record: Teresa and Kajsa for singing so beautifully, Angelica of Body Language for lending her voice to a song that would have been called “I always think about you when I’m drunk”, our patron Kevin Campbell who helped us in giving this record one last chance (there are no words that can describe just how grateful we are), our Eric of Sincerely Yours, our manager David Laurie, our publisher XL, Joe for running our facebook page.
And much love to Rich Thane, families and girlfriends, sister Hanna, Henning Fürst, Marc Hogan, all of you who sent us letters, all of you who stuck around to watch us play, and all of you who opened your homes and hearts and cars and took us to water falls, big squares, beaches, record stores, monuments, valleys, mountains and zoos.
Goodbye for now. Who knows, maybe we’ll see you again in another shape. After all, we’re people that never stop dreaming.
Henrik and Joel