Ayria is a Canadian futurepop/synthpop musical project formed in early 2003 by Toronto's Jennifer Parkin following her departure from the futurepop and EBM band Epsilon Minus. The lighter, ethereal side of gothic, her work shows a collage of smooth textures and soft vocals over collisions of bass and driving beats, danceable and melodic with the darker elements and themes of electro-industrial music still present.
The first Ayria album, Debris, was released on Alfa Matrix in 2003.
Debris garnered international attention and produced several club and rave hits (notably "Disease"), and a series of successful mini-tours in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, occasionally featuring Mike Wimer of Noxious Emotion on drums. It shows a heavy EBM influence and features diverse tracks with Parkin singing about personal life, sci-fi themes, and surreal imagery.
During this period, Parkin performed guest vocals for several other projects, including Belgium's Aïboforcen and Implant, and Mexico's Isis Signum, some of which she would return to later on, such as the late 2011 release of two songs with Aïboforcen.
As touring for Debris wound down, Parkin began writing music for the second Ayria release on her own, with production assistance from Joseph Byer, of v01d. 2005's Flicker reflected a much more diverse and distinctive sound, with many tracks borrowing heavily from minimal techno and early EBM acts such as Nitzer Ebb. It was a very personal reflection on her own favorite music and interests and how Ayria situates into the overall gothic and industrial scene.
In late 2005, touring for Flicker commenced with several Canadian dates, a UK Festival (Interzone in Cardiff, the first European performance by Ayria), and a U.S. West Coast tour. 2006 saw many more opportunities for Ayria such as a first ever European tour in November as well as a debut performance in Osaka, Japan. As of 2008, Ayria was continuing a full United States tour as the supporting act for The Crüxshadows. She has played successful shows at DragonCon, alongside figures such as Sir Patrick Stewart, most recently in 2011, and has also performed with the seminal EBM/synthpop band VNV Nation.
The first two songs by Ayria since the release of Flicker included "The Gun Song", featured on the compilation Alfa Matrix - Re:connected 2.0, released in August 2006 and "Six Seconds On All Sides" released on Dancing Ferret's Asleep By Dawn compilation in fall of 2006. The third full-length album, Hearts For Bullets, was released on September 12, 2008, featuring these two songs.
All of her albums have thus far come with double CD versions available that feature a collection of remixed tracks and other inclusions such as side projects and covers.
Ayria's fourth full-length album, Plastic Makes Perfect, released May 24, 2013, during their North American tour with Project Pitchfork.
Parkin has stated in at least one interview that the name is a play on one of her favorite words, "aria", as in the melodic operatic form of singing and composition, but pronounced "area," because music has spatial properties. She once playfully suggested in her blog that AYRIA is an acronym for "Awesome, Yeah Really, I'm Awesome," but her emphasis on carefully constructed melody with ethereal vocals does recall the derivation of her stage name from classical music.
Ayria has performed with various band members for her live performances, characterized by her enthusiastic and spontaneous dancing punctuating her singing, which have included Mike Wimer, Eric Gottesman, Shaun Frandsen, Joe Byer (v01d), Cam Eleon, Justin Pogue, and Kevin Toole. For her North American tour with Project Pitchfork in 2013 Sarah Wimer joined the live group whereas in 2014 the live formation was completed by Michael Linke, who since then has played the keys beside of Sarah Wimer on various European shows of Ayria.
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