Fresh Tracks: Nature Airliner Travels From Edmonton Punk To Japanese Folk For Debut

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Nature Airliner’s combination of candid vocals and spartan guitar melodies is on full display with their debut album, Cardinal. Comprised of former Edmontonian Laurier Tiernan and his wife Eiko, the Japan-based folk duo previously released half a dozen singles and an EP before consolidating the 10 songs found on Cardinal.

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Nature Airliner’s debut album, Cardinal. Supplied Photo

Much of the album is close to Leonard Cohen’s early style of plaintive lyrics backed by basic acoustic guitar. Vocal duties on most songs come courtesy of Eiko, with Tiernan keeping harmony in the low end on a few tracks.

The set of songs kicks off with For You Alone, the album’s first single, a lilting, love-laden track fueled by a joyous fretwork. It is followed by the ballad, Twin Flames, which speaks of the union of soul mates.

Not all of Cardinal’s songs deal with matters of the heart. Tiernan describes the song Letting Go as “bloodshed” as it is based on her struggles with suicidal tendencies and depression. In the song, she purges herself of desolation and urges others to remain persistent and walk through the darkness.

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The straightforward production gives plenty of room for vocals and melodies to resonate. Tiernan says they spent years looking for a suitable recording studio, eventually choosing the old Columbia Studio A in Nashville. The resulting sparse recordings highlight the duo’s strengths but also expose some of its weaker elements, such as potboiler lyrics.

Tiernan cut his teeth on the punk rock scene, but little of that pain and fury is found on Nature Airliner. In addition to the occasional frenetic strumming of the acoustic guitar, Tiernan says that Nature Airliner is his means of inspiring people to live their lives to the fullest despite adversity.

Cardinal was released on May 6, 2022 on SoundCloud and Reverbnation and is available through iTunes, Amazon and other major music retailers. Visit

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