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Getting To Know: Jeremy Ferrara

Dive into the melodic depths with Jeremy Ferrara's latest album, where the opening track immediately sets a contemplative tone, challenging us to embrace the complexity of existence. "Nothing is truly defined," Ferrara muses, inviting us into a journey through the multifaceted nature of life itself. As we find our balance, we're beckoned into the luminous shadows of "Darkness Is A Bright Sound," where Ferrara proves that enlightenment often resides in the most unexpected places.

Inspired by the profound insights of Rebecca Solnit, "Paint Me Blue" explores the enigmatic allure of distance and depth, reflecting Ferrara's life on the edge—the perpetual motion of touring and the introspective quest that defines his artistry. With nearly a decade on the road, Ferrara's songs emerge from the deep blue, a testament to a life lived in constant search for meaning.

In "Reason," Ferrara delves into the essence of human connection, pondering the transient nature of life and the perpetual cycle of loss and rediscovery. Through his journey, Ferrara uncovers the truth that the reasons we seek are woven into the fabric of our relationships, echoing in the songs that soundtrack our lives. Join Ferrara as he navigates the intricate dance of existence, where every note resonates with the profound beauty of our shared human experience.

1. "Darkness Is A Bright Sound" marks a shift from your previous solo work, now with a full band effort. What prompted this change, and how did working with producer Luke Temple contribute to the album's overall sonic direction?

I think I always knew I wanted this record to have a band. My first full length was sort of a rock/americana album, and my second record was completely stripped down and intimate, so I was hoping for this to be a merging of those two sides of me. With something new worked in as well. I’d say we achieved that. It was so fun working with Luke. I was really inspired by a number of albums that he had produced, namely Adrianne Lenker’s ‘abysskiss’ and Allegra Kreiger’s ‘Precious Thing’. There was a lot of trust, and I didn’t go into it with huge expectations or specifics of what I wanted. If I trust the people I am working with, it is easy for me to let go and just have fun. I definitely felt this way recording DIABS. 

2. The title track of the album suggests a philosophical exploration of uncertainty and the absence of clear definitions. Can you delve into the themes behind "Darkness Is A Bright Sound" and how they shaped the narrative of the entire album?

Yeah, I think that’s pretty right on. I definitely see life as having unclear definition/meaning. That’s the beauty. We can fill it in ourselves. A lot of that view comes from my fascination with buddhist philosophy. When the album title came to me, I was writing the title track of the record. That line didn’t make perfect sense to me, and I almost threw it out. The words stuck with me though, and they seemed to mean something new each time I thought about them. Life seems to be that way too. Eventually the line cropped up in my mind enough times that I decided to name the record after it. Impermanence is another big theme. 

3. "Paint Me Blue" draws inspiration from Rebecca Solnit's essay "The Blue Of Distance." How did this essay influence the creation of the song, and what significance does the color blue hold in the context of your musical journey and reflections on life?

In college my partner at the time showed me that Rebecca Solnit essay. The idea of falling in love with yearning or distance itself instead of the actual attainment of the thing is an idea that’s been explained through art in so many different ways, but Rebecca did it the best in my opinion. The essay is something I’ve come back to many times over the course of my life. There’s of course also the Joni Mitchell album Blue. That was and still is hugely influential for me. It’s cool that blue is just such a beautiful color and can also have this depth of meaning. I wasn’t explicitly trying to put that in my song, but looking back it’s fun to see what my subconscious was maybe pointing to. Most of my songs just come out the way that they do, and it’s not until later that the reason I wrote them becomes more clear.

4. "Reason" touches on personal history and the effects of endless wandering on one's life. Can you share more about the inspiration behind this track and your thoughts on the cyclical nature of what we lose and what returns in another form?

I find there’s a lot of cycles in the life of a songwriter/touring musician. Being on the road, and then being in one place. Making a record, and then writing. Yearning for things to stop happening so fast and then yearning for the opposite (the road). There’s a lot of cycles with love too. I mean insert any part of life, you know. What you give is what you receive. With love and with everything. I know it’s all been said before. 

5. The b-side of the album seems to reveal a thematic thread, particularly in tracks like "Like The Fog, Like The Shore." What overarching message or emotion were you aiming to convey in this section of the album, and how does it tie into the album's title and your overall artistic vision?

In terms of the contour of a record, I always feel like the end is somewhere to put the most contemplative stuff. For the people that have made it that far, haha. I know not everyone listens all the way through albums anymore, but that kind of stuff is so important to me. I would say ‘Like the Fog, Like the Shore’ is one of those songs that gets at the unclear definition of life and self. In particular, the idea of learning lessons, and how that’s not linear or easily defined either. 

6. With the upcoming national tour in April 2024, how do you approach translating the intimate and philosophical nature of your music into a live performance with a band? What can audiences expect from your live shows, and how do you envision connecting with them on a deeper level through your performances?

For my tour, I’ll mostly be playing with a band. The musicians I play with really feel the music and I think understand the importance of conveying the intimacy of it. They are some of my best friends, and I think the most special thing about our live performance is our friendship shining through. 


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