When you need a quiet moment to crash out or calm down, indie folk is usually the genre I turn to and Courtney Farren fits everything that this contemplative mood imbues. Her EP “Nothing Like It” is like the pause between breaths and that’s no bad thing at all.
The title track opens the EP with a simple echoing guitar creating a Daughter-like ambience for Farren’s confessional confusion in lyrics to talk sing over. Everything is understated, but there’s plenty of sound layers from the guitars, to the synth effects and glass noises, it all creates a lost atmosphere. “Hard To Tell” builds on that with something a step more uplifting and melodic. Farren’s clean voice doesn’t need to push because the beauty is again in the simplicity and clarity of the word. The Americana twang to the guitars add warmth to a painful subject of love lost and I’m sure there’s a moo-ing cow in the background too. “Right Now” feels like a live performance with the gentle background noise of people over a sweet and sumptuous acoustic ballad.
“You’re Only On My Mind” reminds me mildly of Patsy Cline and what she may have sounded like if she was born today. The short track is a lush and spacious vocal collage overlaid on dreamy guitars. As Farren turns to pianos and organs for the slow burning “Someone”, the main vibe and theme I get is actually the game Life Is Strange. Courtney’s pacing and general wistful misery would work perfectly in that world and setting of moody teens and self discovery and that’s confirmed with the closing “Change Your Mind”. The soft rumbling drums, the laboured pace of the organs and piano and the sweeping hug of the guitar – it just works.
Nothing Like It is very much more than the sum of its parts. Whilst the EP has a similar tempo and feel throughout, it’s a wonderful place to reside in and Courtney Farren could well be a sleeper hit for the back-end of 2017 for many listeners in need of a hug, but who’ll probably cry instead.
Recommended track : Nothing Like It