The Ferris Wheel – by Farewell Teddy & Company
Review by Hannah of www.rockmycommute.com
I just previewed two tracks from a four-track EP album (full-length CD anticipated soon) by Farewell Teddy and thought you would appreciate learning a bit about what this new, Georgia-based duo has to offer. Their Noisetrade profile (https://noisetrade.com/farewellteddy) – where you can preview these two tracks and sample some of the others – says they are for fans of: Sufjan Stevens, Belle and Sebastian, Beck, Wilco, and the Lumineers. A couple of these comparisons I can totally understand, as I have noted below in my own independent review.
The first track I listened to was “Not Afraid of Torture” from The Ferris Wheel. This piece is actually rockabilly, if you ask me – a rousing, rollicking song raucously voiced by a singer who is at times Brandon Flowers in terms of emotion, blended with Jack White in terms of delivery while singing “I haven’t slept for two whole days but at least I’m not asleep”. There is even yodeling at the end, over what seems to be the faint whoosh of a roller coaster.
“Connoisseur of the Boulevard” was next, starting with a simple “1, 2, 3, 4” like so many good songs do. A total style change here brings us Jack Johnson-esque guitar with definitely Beck-influenced vocals, that lament “another lie I’m gonna have to tell, to cover up another sin.” There is a dreamy indie guitar that makes one think they are listening to a Belle and Sebastian song from 15 years ago; and the thoughtful, descriptive lyrics full of images somehow manage to incorporate “spandex leggings and refried beans” in a way that is not weird or corny.
The other tracks you can sample right on the site – “1893” is carnival-themed with lots of plunking, bluegrassy instrumentation in the background. Vintage train track sounds waft in and out, setting the scene. And I loved the small chimes and bells mixed in with an artfully executed percussion segment on “Veni Creator Spiritus”. On May 28 they posted another short video clip on their Facebook page with a brief sneak peek at a songs they are currently recording for the full-length release – and this one really sounds like Beck. Not just in the vocal style, but also in the use of backing vocalists and some electronic sounds mixed into the texture. It will be neat to see what the full album is like when it all comes together!
One last special treat is a very Wilco-inspired song via video from their NPR Tiny Desk Contest entry (also available on the Noisetrade site) – where they play a song full of cute xylophone tones and lots of “doot doos”. The video itself is not much to watch (the singer barely opens his eyes the whole time), but the vintage suspenders and gingham shirt go along with his cheerful delivery of slightly bleak lyrics – “I’d die for you, anything you want I’d buy for you… I just don’t think that I can live for you.” Keep an eye out for the release of the Brave New World’s Fair (Part I) album later this year!