Flitting between London and LA, the buzzy indie duo speak to us about their latest track and more.
Back in 2016, a studio session between London-based producer Linden Jay and LA vocalist Roméo would signal the start of a transatlantic musical duo, now known as FARR.
Releasing debut track “Paranoid” earlier this year – an honest exploration of the anxiety and existentialism that most 20-somethings know all too well – FARR has attracted praise from both of their respective hometowns and further afield. Their latest song, “Technicolour”, confirms the duo as an evocative new talent laying out their most personal emotions through their indie-pop sound.
“Technicolour was the last song written for the album”, explains Roméo. “I’d been feeling fed up with the sad way I was seeing the world, which unfortunately I feel like a lot of us can identify with right now. I wanted to write something to make sense of it all. I was reaching for hope, reaching for a vividly coloured future rather than this grey cloud I felt I was sitting in”.
Ahead of next year’s highly-anticipated debut album, we catch up with FARR about their lyrics, inspirations and more…
When did you guys realise that you had a good flow together? Linden: Pretty early on, I think. I remember the day after being with my sister and telling her about the great session I had just done with Roméo. I was eager to work with him again. So pretty immediately, I’d say, and that’s how our track “Blades” happened.
Where do you get your inspirations from? Roméo: I think life events, honestly. Our biggest motivation in music is to create a safe place for people to feel better about what’s happening in their everyday lives. We’re both just people living our lives as best we can, and want to relay that through our music.
What do you respectively bring from LA and London, sound-wise? Linden: I think a lot of the aesthetic of the sounds that I like and create come from London’s love of electronic and moody music, it’s all got that influence through it. I’ve always loved American music as well, so being able to reference more American sounds and have it contextualised by Roméo makes our music more of an open book and we can draw from a lot of different sources of inspiration. Roméo: I think a lot of the American influence comes through in how the songs are written. I’ve always been inspired by soul and hip-hop music, and I feel like those genres are having a massive moment in the UK. I approach things from a rhythmic, pop place because I grew up writing pop music, but Linden gives it a different tone. We love the juxtaposition between the two.
What’s the biggest challenge of your musical partnership? Roméo: Travel! That’s definitely the biggest challenge we have to deal with on a daily basis – being far apart. It works for our benefit just as much though, because we’re able to create in our own space and then come together with fresh ideas. Sometimes it would definitely be easier to work together if we were in the same place, though.
What is “Technicolour” about? Roméo: The song is definitely one of our darker ones. It was the last track we wrote for the album, I’d been in this weird headspace and was sad looking at all the messed up stuff happening in the world around me. I think a lot of people are feeling the same way right now, so I wanted to write something to help me make better sense of how I was feeling and get out of the grey cloud.
Was there any one event or inspiration that spurred on its creation? Roméo: The main thing that brought about “Technicolour” was frustration. I was caught at the tail end of writing for an album and had been forcing myself to write music to finish it off. It finally took me sitting with my guitar in a dark room for six hours, thinking about what I wanted to say to write the track. I’d also been on Photoshop a lot prior to writing the song, so there were a lot of photography and photo editing terms in my head that I would have never normally have thought about incorporating into lyrics.
You’ve written songs about anxiety and being disillusioned – is it hard to bring such personal perspectives to your music-writing? Roméo: Not difficult at all, it’s actually really the only thing I can do when I write. I wish I could be more detached when writing music, but the songs always end up being about real things happening in my life. I think that’s good though, because people connect more with the music because it’s real. Linden: That’s what music should be, a reflection of your reality.
Who would you love to collaborate with? Linden: Would love to collaborate with anyone, but a personal dream has always been to do something with André 300,0 because I think Outkast is one of the greatest groups of all time. Roméo: For sure Bun B, shout out H-town.
What’s the best feedback you’ve had about your music? Linden: Once someone messaged us, ‘Yo I love your guys’ music, your songs f**k’ – I said thank you, but I wasn’t really sure what to do with that. Roméo: But really – we were in Copenhagen on our last tour and there was a girl in the front row, center stage, and she was singing along to every one of our songs. It was amazing, and such a compliment to be on the other side of the world and have someone come out to our show who is passionate like that and knew every word. Linden: Any time someone connects with our music it’s the highest compliment we can get.
What’s next for you? What are you excited about? Linden: Even though we just finished our tour, we’re excited to get back out there and perform again. We’re working on a full body of work, just expecting the unexpected and hoping that people connect with what we’re doing.