Portland, Oregon musician Andy McFarlane has spent over a decade writing songs, taking detours along the way and experiencing many things beyond music, but ultimately culminating in the project he calls Far Lands. Alongside his childhood friend Matt Drenik – best known for his roles in post-grunge outfit Lions and folk rockers Battleme – McFarlane has allowed Far Lands to evolve into a colorful minimalist pop act. The group finds inspiration from acts like Granddaddy, Beck and Neil Young, a combination of acts that should get any music lover excited.
On October 13th Far Lands will release their new album Oh What an Honor/Oh, What a Drag, which resulted from a chance encounter between these childhood friends who hadn’t seen each other in 20 years. McFarlane’s songs were primitive; tiny, primal screams of hurt and wonder. After some back and forth, the two sat down and played “Geronimo” on the piano. They believed the best way for these song vignettes to live wouldn’t be in isolation, but in full spectrum, while acknowledging the power of the initial minimalism. With Drenik playing most of the instruments, they enlisted the help of drummer Pauli Pulvirenti (Eyelids, Elliott Smith) and Ivan Howard (Rosebuds, Howard Ivans). McFarlane’s lyrical delivery widened, spanning decades in a morphed vision quest of love and evolution. Instead of clocking countless hours at rehearsals and club shows, Far Lands found a voice in the studio as a conversation between old friends. The record clocks in at just under thirty minutes. It’s a nine song testament to the wisdom of the slow build and the beautiful absurdity that exists in the world if you’re open to it.
Today Glide Magazine is premiering “Lowlands”, a song anchored by a catchy mellow beat and dreamy harmonies. There is a simplicity to the music that makes for a sound that is airy and clean, signaling that the members of this group know how to cut away the fat in the studio and come away with a fine tuned indie pop tune.
Oh What an Honor/Oh, What a Drag is out on Get Loud Records October 13th. For more music and info visit farlands.space.
Photo credit: Taylor Bolding