San Francisco freelance recording artist Devin Farney has a wide variety of releases, tv/film syncs and other productions already under his belt. His summer 2022 full-length release "Is/Was" was well-received and reviewed. Farney’s brand new release Gone With the River, continues exploring the artist’s style of music at its most MIDI-free and organic. The five chamber-pop vibe tunes are melodic at their core and piano driven, but also feature other instrumentation like strings, organ, electric piano, drums/percussion, guitar and pedal steel.
Farney calls Gone is the River his ecological" EP, as the songs all deal with themes related to environmental upheaval, such as droughts, fires, continental drifts, hurricanes and those who think climate change is a hoax. The EP was recorded at Little Green Shack Studios, Bay Area, California. More about Farney’s work and background can found on his website If you like a little retro, a little contemporary orchestral, soft rock, pop, with lyrics that are meaningful and a music production that’s top notch, I think you’ll like this EP.
The opening track “In Heaven” is a softly sung, softly played, gorgeous tune. It has such a pleasant, soundscape-ish melody, I couldn’t help but smile at how enjoyable the mix of instruments sound together. There are so many beautiful sounds and intricate arrangements here, I had to listen to specific parts of the song again just to hear how everything flowed together. The organ and twangy lap steel, piano and mellow arrangements remind me of bands like Elbow, perhaps a Keane or Coldplay tune - but there was a lot of old school vibes I was feeling, too. And lofty, soft feel to this opener, made me think of floating on clouds. Next up is “Invertebrates (Back Where We Started)” that features a gentle rhythm, and a mix of organ, flute, double bass, chimes or a Glockenspiel, and I think an accordion, too. The sound of everything, the ’60s like orchestral instrumentation reminds of a lot of what Brian Wilson did on Pet Sounds or Smile or R.E.M. on Automatic for the People. The next track “This is Fine” has got a fun, danceable mix of soft funk/jazz, pop and a soft ‘70s rock vibe. I could hear a little Carol King in the beginning, a little Beatles, ELO maybe, but then this rocking beat comes in mixing in yet another style. A fun song to listen to.
Moving on is “Yours to Keep” and it’s played primarily on the piano. The most chilling aspect on this song is the last note played, I think’s it’s a flat or minor chord. It’s the chord or certain note that makes your spine tingle - at least it did for me. Lyrically, Farney writes about a ‘conversation’ between the earth and humans. As if the earth says to us humans, “hey, you know, you really made a mess of everything in this once great environment it took so long to make, which supplied your every need - but now, well, what’s left of it is yours to keep… yours to keep.” It’s a timely reminder that our earth’s resources and creatures are changing drastically, some to the point of endangerment and extinction.
The last track “It’s a Hoax” begins with a theatrical introduction, like a mix of Jesus Christ, Superstar meets Free To Be, You and Me. But shortly after, Devin switches into a super soft, chilled out ‘70s pop ride, which flowed very nicely. I could hear so many styles and influences in this song, from such bands and artists like ELO, Supertramp, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Wings and Harry Nilsson. I absolutely loved this last tune as well as the entire EP.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook