The most surprising fact about Farewell Jr’s debut Health EP is that it was recorded in part in Cambridge, Ireland and Australia. Surprising not for the fact that what began as Nick Rayner’s Cambridge-based solo project has so rapidly grown, but because listening to it feels like such a confining experience. Their cavernous sound, deep, rich and confident, and built on layers of echo, immediately encloses the listener. It’s almost claustrophobic but too welcoming to make you want to break free.
That feeling grows amid the pulsing rhythms of ‘Night Wolves’. If there’s a good way to suffer cabin fever, the first half of this EP might just be it. But the music is desperate to break free and it eventually does on the centre-point of this EP, ‘A Thought, A Mind’, with exuberant strings celebrating the sweet release from the constraints so prevalent before.
Amid all these conflicting emotions, some respite is needed, and it comes as ‘Sweet Elizabeth’ delicately releases you from the clutches of a truly engrossing short record.