Haunting folk outfit Azure Ray returned to Philadelphia last night for an appearance at the side chapel of the First Unitarian Church. The core duo of Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor was backed by cellist Heather McIntosh and multi-instrumentalist Andy LeMaster (of Fink’s other band, Now It’s Overhead), and their subtle arrangements and evocative playing rang nicely off the lofty ceiling of the chapel. Touring in support of the As Above So Below EP (out last week on Omaha-based label, Saddle Creek Records), the band opened with its current single “Scattered Like Leaves,” then dipped surprisingly deep into its back-catalog, playing the title track of its 2002 EP November, encoring with its melancholy single “The Drinks We Drank Last Night” from its definitive 2003 album Hold On Love, and digging back to its 2001 self-titled debut for five songs. One of those, “Sleep” – which resurfaced on the soundtrack to The Devil Wears Prada a few years back – featured piano and vocal accompaniment from opening act Soko, whose set was impressive in its own right. Offsetting troubled, aching songs about heartbreak and addiction with a sprightly, playful stage persona – often entreating the crowd to sing along – she played an engaging set (and gave hugs to many audience members at the merch table afterwards). Check out a photo recap above, and see Azure Ray’s setlist below. Of note to XPN listeners – Taylor told the crowd that, while the band was in town, it visited Exton to record a Living Room Concert with Echoes, WXPN’s nationally-syndicated program spotlighting ambient, electronica and musical soundscapes. Their concert will broadcast on the October 8 edition of the show, and their interview will air in late October.

Scattered Like Leaves
On And On Again
Don’t Make A Sound
Don’t Leave My Mind
Safe and Sound
The Heart Has its Reasons

The Drinks we Drank Last Night