The Haunt was abuzz with pre-show jitters. The crowd was swaying to the music of rap artists Yonas and Captaincy, the latter an Ithaca College freshman. Three openers and a D.J. set later, Aer took the stage. Hailing from Boston, this duo has a unique take on smooth hip-hop. Band members David and Carter describe their sound as originating from their love of hip hop, reggae, and indie rock. The group has fused elements from these genres into a Shwayze-esque style. David plays the guitar on many of the tracks and with a few strokes of the pick he adds a chill reggae sound to already fly beats. Carter raps on the verses and has a swift delivery to his melodic flow. Most of the time it’s hard to tell whether he is singing or rapping, creating an uncertain blend of the two. Carter can break it down with verses as fast as Busta Rymes, or he can switch up the feel and give a harmonious, sensuous sound when he serenades the crowd.
The two, along with D.J. Smiles, have a formidable stage presence. They prompt the audience to chant, sway and bump fists. Aer’s act is well rehearsed, and Smile’s turntable scratching starts each song off with a fresh feel.
The group played heavily off its albums The Reach and The Bright Side. While “Like the Way” and “Floats My Boat” were crowd pleasers, the best moment was when David brought out his guitar to play “Feel I Bring.” Although The Haunt wasn’t fully packed, the fans that were there were overwhelmingly passionate. One kid said to his friend, “Man, I’ve known about Aer since the beginning, the very first song. I can’t believe I’m seeing them now!”
I got to sit down with the duo before the show. They immediately made me feel welcome in the waiting room in which they had sat for nearly five hours. This is the first stop for these two on their cross-country tour from Ithaca to Los Angeles. The pair’s commitment to music is unwavering; they aim to bring 100 percent of their energy to every show. The 19-year-olds have known each other since childhood, and chose to forgo college to pursue their music career. This choice was not on a whim though. Aer has had songs featured on i-Tunes, over 43,000 likes on its Facebook page, and their new album The Bright Side is making a considerable splash on hip-hop charts.
Aer’s music is feel good music — something you would play at a beach party, a kickback or a laidback road trip with friends. The pair references weed heavily and many songs are about rolling up and relaxing to a bong, blunt or joint. Carter admits, “I used to want to be a police officer, but then I realized I like smoking weed too much, so that wasn’t really gonna work out.” As such, Aer’s music is perfect to blaze to as its catchy hooks and sweet flows bounce off your ears. You should keep your eye on these guys — with this national tour, they will solidify their fan base and gain even more attention. They are eager to collaborate with the likes of Asher Roth, Shwayze and Logic. Aer is two guys doing what they love to do: make music, party and share their story of growing up as wild teenagers smoking bud with the world.