Friday, October 22, 2021

JW Farrell Delivers Apocalypse Ready Anthems On ‘Far From It’

When the inevitable apocalypse arrives and we find ourselves caught off guard, flung off in different locations, we will need something to listen to as we reach our end.

If then, you find yourself in a sticky-floor bar and the dad rockers have left their Strats and sobriety on the faux-oak wooden stage. Get JW Farrell’s new album ‘Far From It’ up on the jukebox and join a raucous pub choir, one last time.

Hailing from New York, JW Farrell has been releasing solo material since 2016, with ‘Far From It’ being his first full length release. Fittingly the opening track is entitled ‘Music For The End Of The World’.

Despite the title, it’s an upbeat stomper with a road-trip ready feel. The album draws heavily from Americana, folk & country rock, with JW Farrell showcasing his song writing talent on every take. 


Over 37 minutes, JW flexes his muscles with a collection of pub stompers and road trip playlist toppers. ‘Demons’ is a driving slice of country infused pop in a similar vein to Mumford & Sons, which is followed by ‘Tequila Shooters’ which oozes ‘70s Chelsea Hotel cool. “I got the devil on my shoulder trying to lead me astray/I asked an angel for advice but she just flew away” Farrell snarls over this harsher, art-rock tune. 


This track plus ‘Dark Lonely Bars’ and ‘Shickadance’ trade the softer, sing-a-long vibe for something more akin to Lou Reed. Though they still have a singer-songwriter sensibility, there’s a dark tone to them. ‘Shickadance’ especially sounds like had it been released in another era, one would’ve heard it at the CBGB club in New York. 


The album’s strength as a whole is its minimalism, no song feels overly stuffed or over done. It adheres to a folk-rock sound quite strictly, with just the odd flourish here and there. ‘Walk Away’ for example is a beautiful duet with Rachel Gawell over a slice of Nashville heavy pop country. In general, the album feels well judged. Only on ‘Easy’ does the elongated guitar solo drift maybe a tad close to making JW sound like a poor man’s Bruce Springsteen. Overall though, the album is anthemic, without being brash.


Of course, in the event of the four-minute warning being sounded on these fair isles, you would not have time to listen to this album. But any one of the tracks from it would be a fitting choice. So raise a glass of uncontaminated water and turn up the music until the walls of your fallout shelter shake. Everything ends, and unfortunately this album does too. But you can repeat it for however long you want, until our final end arrives.


Tom Pritchard

Image: ‘Far From It’ Official Album Cover

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