Fink: Invisible Ray of Love
story by tim mcmahan
Lazy-i: August 15, 2005
w/ The Faint, Ladyfinger
Aug. 15, 8 p.m.
13th & Martha
w/The Faint, The Mariannes
Aug. 16, 8 p.m.
13th & Martha
How big a role did The Faint's Todd Baechle -- now
called Todd Fink -- play in splitting up folk-rock duo Azure Ray?
Bigger than you think.
No, Todd Fink isn't Saddle Creek's version of Yoko. Nothing was
done intentionally except maybe for falling in love with Orenda
Fink -- one-half of Azure Ray and Todd's new wife. Now that she's
happy and not heart-broken, Orenda no longer has the inspiration
to write "love-lost songs," which she says Azure Ray is
"When Maria and I started Azure Ray I did have a terribly
broken heart and I was very sad. That's all I wanted to write about
and I did for a couple years," she explains on the short film
included on the promo version of Invisible Ones, her new
solo CD. "I met this wonderful guy (Todd)
and I'm not
sad anymore. I can't write those songs. I started thinking it's
just time to do something different. I can't make this heartache
Fink said leaving Azure Ray freed
her creatively in a number of ways. "I was able to make a lot
of stylistic choices that I wasn't able to before," she further
explained in an interview last week. Those choices included hiring
Rozna Zila and Sandy M. Saint-Cyr to sing backing vocals on two
Haitian-influenced tracks, "No Evolution" and "Animal."
Both are members of Troupe Macandal, a Haitian dance and singing
group that performs in New York.
"They were very comfortable with the melodies because it was
something they were used to and made sense to them," Fink said.
"Once they learned the parts, they had their eyes closed and
were swaying to the music with these amazing voices."
Both songs were inspired by the Finks' trip to Haiti, where the
couple experienced peasant village ceremonies and voodoo rituals.
"It's all symbolism. It's very earthy, very beautiful,"
she said. "Some of the melodies I heard stuck in my head and
I wrote lyrics to them."
The Haitian connection isn't the only thing that makes Fink's solo
CD unique. Produced and engineered by Andy LeMaster (Now It's Overhead),
Invisible Ones enlists a core of supporting players including
Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio), tribal drummer Scott Amendola, Patterson
Hood (Drive-By Truckers) and Saddle Creek regulars Dan McCarthy
(Mayday) and Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes). Not to mention husband
Todd, who played on three tracks including the edgy rock single
"Bloodline," which he co-produced.
"Once they learned the parts, they
had their eyes closed and were swaying to the music with these
| || |
"Todd took a demo of the song and
kind of tweaked it and redid it like how he'd want to do it.
Then we came to a compromise"
"Todd took a demo of the song
and kind of tweaked it and redid it like how he'd want to do it.
Then we came to a compromise," Fink said. "He played everything
on the track -- bass, guitar and keyboards."
Despite their collaboration in music and in life, Todd won't be
joining Orenda as part of her touring band. "He likes to have
time alone to write," she said. "As much as we like to
tour together, it makes sense for him to be home by himself."
Todd, however, will help out on guitar when Orenda opens for The
Faint Aug. 15 and 16 at Sokol Auditorium. They'll be joined by members
of The Jazzholes, Stephanie Drootin (Consafos, The Good Life) and
a female back-up singer. For Fink's U.S. tour in the fall, tour
mates Neva Dinova will likely be her band, while Mayday will be
her band when they tour Europe together in late November and early
Published in The Omaha Reader Aug. 10, 2005.
Copyright © 2005 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.