By Melanie Bryan
Courtney Farren is an multi-genre artist that beautifully crafts rock-infused bedroom-pop. Her debut EP, Rabbit King, was released today and her merch for this release is handmade to keep it as sustainable as possible. Read on for more information about Courtney, her background, and the creation of Rabbit King.
MSM: Hey Courtney! Thanks for chatting! How would you describe your sound to anyone unfamiliar with your music?
COURTNEY FARREN: Hi! Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my EP! I would describe my music as pop sensibilities plagued by obsessive thoughts and supported by synths and programmed drums. I try to play around with genres, but there are definitely some consistent themes of bedroom/indie pop and folk.
MSM: Tell me about your journey with creating music. How did you get started, and was it something you always knew you wanted to do?
COURTNEY: When I was little, I would sing along to anything and everything in the car. My dad’s answer to this was to bribe me with computer games to take singing lessons, which was probably a good investment for my family’s ears since I showed no signs of stopping.
I was five when I had my first lesson, and shortly after, most of my dreams for the future revolved around singing and performing. Having moved 15 times before I turned 18, music was an outlet that grounded me and kept me going during difficult times, and it still offers me that same comfort now.
MSM: How do you approach the songwriting process, and where do you draw inspiration?
COURTNEY: I typically sit to write and start by messing around with sounds on either my piano, guitar, or computer. While I’m doing that, I’m cycling through my brain for how I’m feeling. Once I find a sound or feeling, I’m a pretty quick writer. I like stream-of-consciousness writing.
Most of my inspiration comes from hyper-analyzing my life and experiences, so I always keep a journal with me and pay attention to what’s going on around me.
MSM: You are releasing your debut EP, Rabbit King, on April 13th. Can you talk about the creative process behind it, and what themes or messages you were trying to convey?
COURTNEY: I feel like this record spans a variety of feelings and sounds, some of which I had yet to express in my music before now.
Creating my version of a pop song through “White Rabbit” was really cathartic. As a woman in the music industry, I have faced many assumptions about who I am and what I represent, so for the music video I shot for “White Rabbit” I really played into the role of a ‘white rabbit’ on Hollywood Blvd. Ultimately that was my way of expressing that I’m allowed to be whoever I want to be as long as it’s on my terms.
For King, I was in my first zoom session working with the incredibly talented producer, Sombear, and I wanted the lyrics I was writing to demonstrate my power separate from my gender and other people’s narratives. That resulted in a sonic landscape and lyrics that I feel represent my ability to be patient and stand my ground in the face of those who consider themselves to hold positions of power and authority over me.
I think the four songs I included in this EP illustrate four very different feelings, and I hope the throughline can be that none of these feelings are mutually exclusive.
MSM: Do you have a favorite song from Rabbit King, perhaps one that means the most to you?
COURTNEY: I can’t pick a favorite song, but “Happy,” despite being a four track song with one take vocals, holds a special place in my heart. When I wrote it in 2020, I felt very lost and confused. I get emotional thinking about the fact that my subconscious knew I wasn’t where I should be. I’m much happier now and I’m proud of the work I’ve done to get here.
MSM: Describe your favorite and least favorite parts about being a musician.
COURTNEY: My favorite part of being a musician and artist is the limitless creativity. It feels so good to have the ability to create something that offers me a release and a break from my own mind. My expression is channeled through all the art forms I enjoy and is very healing.
My least favorite part is social media, which I’ve found is notoriously true for many artists. Art is my way of communicating and expressing myself, so trying to authentically post about who I am and what I do has always been awkward for me. I grew up alongside most of the major social media companies forming, so I feel like they were beta tested on me and my peers and caused a lot of insecurities that only seem to have worsened for subsequent generations. I think there is a future where society can maintain a healthy relationship with social media, but it will take a lot of work.
MSM: What else are you passionate about besides music?
COURTNEY: I really enjoy designing and sewing. I recently did a limited release of merch where I took the lettering from my EP cover and hand printed, cut, ironed, and sewed “Rabbit King” onto gently used clothing that I thrifted locally. I’m committed to maintaining a high level of sustainability with all of my work, so I get most of my crafting supplies from my local second-hand craft store. I feel really privileged to live in an area where I’m surrounded by environmentally conscious options.
MSM: What’s your motto or some good advice that you live by?
COURTNEY: My Facebook info from when I was 13 was “dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow” and I still feel that. Actually, I just checked, and it still says that. That and beneath it says “winner winner chicken dinner” in all caps. I think both of those quotes are applicable to my life in their own way.
MSM: What are your goals for your music career, and where do you see yourself in the next few years?
COURTNEY: I want to play shows again. Nothing makes me feel quite like performing does, and I see myself having many opportunities to do so in the coming years.
MSM: Lastly, do you have any closing messages for your fans?
COURTNEY: Thank you for spending some of your precious time listening to my music!! I am so excited to continue sharing my art in all forms. I really hope you enjoy Rabbit King!
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Images Provided Courtesy of Angel With An Eyepatch Records