By Alan Ho
Who: HALFNOISE (Zac Farro)
Where: Nashville, TN
For fans of: Owl City, Passion Pit, Selena Gomez, Paramore, Kesha
Did it really happen? Yes it did and it was not particularly pretty for a key portion of Paramore as the Farro brothers, Zac and Josh essentially left the group in a well-publicized huff via a very public open letter back in 2010. Their departure was over significant creative differences with frontwoman Hayley Williams and she and her new cohorts recorded a self-titled album in 2013. But as we all know, sometimes, time can heal wounds and that is the case for Zac himself, now back in the fold as their drummer once again for a long awaited and anticipated follow-up to the 2013 post-Farro effort.
“It’s a second chance,” Farro tells in a podcast with The Alt In Our Stars. “I’m so thankful that I’m playing on the album, but that wasn’t what was important to me at the beginning. What was important was mending those friendships… Hayley and [guitarist] Taylor [York] have become really good friends of mine again and they’re super supportive of my stuff.”
But what you don’t know is how he was spending time when he left and when he has come back….so let’s bring in HALFNOISE, a project he formed in Nashville with now past member Jason Clark. Farro serves as the creative plug behind the now solo project, where he serves as pretty much everything, not any different from electro pop contemporary Owl City.
But that is where it begins to diverge. While Farro’s project is firmly dipped into the electro pop that propelled Owl City to fame years back, he fuses it with his alt-rock roots, where he claims bands like Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab For Cutie, Thrice (in Paramore’s early pre-major label days, Zac was quite the screamer) and even Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters. So think of it as a harder, grittier take on modern electropop.
A growing friendship with producer Joel Little (Lorde, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding) is the result of Farro’s move to New Zealand in 2014 and 2015s single “Inside.” From there, it has led to his move back to Nashville, where he begun work on the next HALFNOISE album, which is self-produced by Farro in LA with close collaborators and friends. Sudden Feeling will be released on September 9th with preorders beginning August 26th AND a vinyl pressing of the album later this fall!
Two singles have now come out of the anticipated effort, one has premiered on Stereogum and the other is called “In The Summer,” which now has placement on Spotify’s “Chill Tracks.”
HALFNOISE: In The Summer–