[Album Review] HALFNOISE – ‘Sudden Feeling’

In a world, and especially the music industry, that capitalizes on gloom, former Paramore drummer, Zac Farro, proves with his most recent project HALFNOISE, that he can successfully play to the beat of a different drum. Specifically one of optimism, as successfully proven on his album, Sudden Feeling. Rather then losing his identity along with the departure of someone who once completed him, Farro wastes no time in setting out to regain that part of himself.

“I would say the theme of the album is that there’s heartbreak, but that’s alright, and ultimately what else can you do about something like that, other than sing about it?” Farro stated, in regards to the album’s objective, and it’s safe to say that Farro hit the nail on the head with Sudden Feeling.

The album doesn’t hesitate to exude this ever-present theme right off the bat with “Know the Feeling,” which addresses the burden of not receiving proper closure or reason after a break up, captured by the lyric, “You always loved with one foot in and one foot out.” But, Farro does so in a way with catchy, techno rhythms, that will make worries of past troubles be replaced with a sense of contentment. This steady flow continues with “Leaving,” – a song in which its intro is filled with 80’s flare but with a slight modern opera twist. The song eases into a break down, as heavier beats begin to dominate the mood more and more.

As Farro belts the high notes, using a slightly distorted voice, redolent of Julian Casablancas, in “My Mind” he expresses the affects one’s deceitful charm can have in creating false motives. “Love You Back” captures the complex, and confusing ,feelings tangled within the complicated web we call love. A new element of instrumentation is brought to the table in, “In the Summer,” adding a refreshing component to the album.

The synthesized sounds and repetitive lyrics in “Telephone” leave the listener simultaneously singing the tune for hours as well as being in a happy mood. “Telephone” epitomizes what Farro was referring to when he said, “The biggest compliment that I’ve gotten from this record from my friends is when they say, ‘this album makes me feel like I’m hanging out with you,’ because it really means that my point of view is coming across in a way people can recognize.” He added, “…I really think the fact that I don’t take things too seriously in my daily life really crossed over to this recording.”

The rock vibe, expressed in “My Mind” returns in “Sudden Feeling” as the faded guitar and piano creates a chilling ambiance. The tempo and mood starts to calm down a bit in “Always” and “Come Over,” building up to the albums most serious song – reflected in both the lyrics and slowness – “Picture of You.” This ballad represents a sense of fulfillment that Farro has gained in the course of the album as he soothingly repeats, “Don’t worry now.” “Better Then You” combines all of the aforementioned elements and themes from the album into one, creating a simplistic closing.

Sudden Feeling serves as an album that showcases Farro’s musical aspirations successfully, combating old struggles with the power of feel good music. Commenting on the album, Farro said, “I just can’t wait to share these songs with people because I couldn’t be happier with the way that they turned out and I hope they feel the same way, too.” And to answer that question, yes, we do.

Sudden Feeling is available now here.

Katelyn A. Howard

Katelyn A. Howard

Katelyn’s studies journalism at the University of Oklahoma and has contributed to local publications.