Vicky Farewell Sweet Company
It’s possible to be optimistic when referring to the 20s as an age of inclusion, but it is fair that there are more opportunities for music to be heard, even if it doesn’t always translate into fair compensation. Vicky Farewell, a first-generation American pianist, is difficult to pin down in this age of ever-more-granular music genre splintering. She is a first-generation American who was trained as a classical pianist. Her CV of associated acts – Anderson and Mac DeMarco – reads like an eclectic collection of weird balls.
Her biggest success has been with. Paak’s blockbuster ‘Malibu,’ where she boasts production credits and co-writing two songs (including the trippy and sumptuous ‘Parking Lot’). You’ll be surprised if Farewell’s solo album’ Sweet Company’ sounds anything like the kitchen-sink minimalism of Malibu.’ Sweet and short at just 27 minutes, “Sweet Company” is a sweet and simple album. It builds songs around synths and unexotic beats and Farewell singing. It’s often difficult to discern whether Farewell is singing sincerely or laughing with her tongue.
Like much indie pop, truth seems to be somewhere in the middle. It’s a welcoming album that encourages whatever type of enjoyment you feel is appropriate. For example, the title track is hilarious (ha-ha but also very peculiar) and features a guitar solo that uses every clichéd stop, from arpeggios through to harmony at the end. It succeeds because it is both an exaggeration and a well-executed example. It’s both charming and childish. Farewell’s voice sounds soft and mellow, almost like a nostalgic treat that you shouldn’t enjoy. Even the guitar solo reveals its ineptitude.
This is a delicate balance that the album occasionally loses. This is largely due to the production decisions. Farewell is well-advised at drawing from her influences to create a greater sound than the sum of its parts. However, she sometimes seems reluctant to give her vocals the respect they deserve. “Believe Me” is a beautiful song with a trip-hop vibe, but Farewell’s strangely muffled voice does not fit in as well as it should. ‘H.W.’ Also, Farewell has some dodgy vocal processing. This is not a way to add color to the music. It acts as a barrier to intimacy and detracts from the relaxed, neo-soul vibe Farewell appears to be trying to achieve.
It’s a shame because Vicky Farewell is a great songwriter. She has a knack for writing pop songs that get into your brain and then playfully roll around like a handful of marbles. “Kakashi (All Of The Time)” is the album’s most uplifting love song and its brightest ray of sunshine. The closing track, “Get Me,” lingers well after three minutes. It’s like much of Sweet Company” because it’s familiar and new. Farewell may be trying out new things with “Sweet Company,” which is longer than an album. If that’s true, it’s definitely worth your attention.