New Noise Magazine is doubling up on premieres from Portland’s Far Lands today! Below one can find the exclusive streams of ‘Death Doesn’t Sleep” and a B-Side “Nights.” There’s a shimmering and bright sonic layer to “Death Doesn’t Sleep,” roaring through with a booming bass line. The vocals dance over the rhythmic cadences with a ton of poise, giving the song a unique sway. “Nights” is a bit more atmospheric and reserved, with the vocals being more airy and gliding over the textures. Take a listen to both tracks below!
“There’s a sense of urgency in “Death Doesn’t Sleep,” thematically and musically. We roughed it out during breaks at the studio while tracking “Oh, What and Honor/Oh, What a Drag” and right away we knew we had something different on our hands – a note to self that everything we were exploring on the album should logically progress from reflection to action. It’s our anthem against numbing out.” – Far Lands
“Nights is about how it can all change in an instant- how love can walk into a room and take full command of you. And just as easily slip away.” – Far Lands
Far Lands is the culmination of over a decade of songwriting by Cincinnati native and Portland transplant Andy McFarlane. It represents the next logical, yet unlikely, step in a slow musical evolution that saw Andy as a high school musician and an aspiring ethnomusicologist, recording Zapotec folk music in Oaxaca, Mexico. The 2000 release of his book of poems, prose and rhymes, Intersection was immediately followed by a move westward and inward where he quietly documented the births of his daughters and the deaths of his parents. This tangible effort of turning life and loss into a sort of musical diary was ultimately isolating as he shied away from production and performance while holding down jobs as a teacher, principal and professor of education. Yet 17 years later, something has happened.
Oh What an Honor/ Oh, What a Drag, their debut album from November 2017, resulted from a chance encounter with childhood friend Matt Drenik (Battleme). The two hadn’t seen each other in 20 years. After a few forays into reminiscing old Ohio folklore, they quickly moved to Drenik’s Portland studio, Get Loud, and got about the work of making art. McFarlane’s urge to begin documenting seemed natural. His 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.
Two singles from Oh What An Honor / Oh What A Drag found TV placement- “Lowlands” was used in HBO’s “Here and Now” and on Criminal Minds, while “Beyond the One I’m Making” appeared in Showtime’s “Shameless.”