Groove Finder: HalfNoise

Photo Credit: Danny Peart

It has been about eight years since Zac Farro and pal Jason Clark first brought the musical project HalfNoise to life. With Clark’s departure from the project in 2012, HalfNoise was left with Farro as its sole member. But with a new EP released soon and a tour approaching, this groove maestro is not slowing down any time soon.

Many may recognize Zac Farro as the man behind Paramore’s drumkit, but his stylistic approach to lyricism, groove producing and his singing voice often go unnoticed. It was through HalfNoise that I and many others discovered just how musically diverse Farro truly is.

With 60’s infused beats and heavy synth transporting us back to the ‘80s, HalfNoise defies time by producing music that is undefinable. Bust out The Velvet Face EP and immerse yourself in its psychedelic tunes. Finished listening to that? Undergo an entirely different musical experience by breaking out your dancing shoes and cranking up “All That Love Is.”

From the colorful vintage clothing they wear to the laid-back, ambient atmosphere of their live shows, HalfNoise has become a band like no other. Just look at Zac Farro’s Instagram. The strong visual aesthetics not only play a part in his life outside of music, but it is clear just how influential his passion for film photography has been on his musical endeavors as well. For example, watch the music video for “French Class” and you will see just how captivating and kaleidoscopic the visuals are.

French Class” by HalfNoise

In November 2017, I was lucky enough to see HalfNoise perform live at The End in Nashville, Tennessee.

I arrived at the venue not knowing a soul, but left with a sense of authentic connection with every person who attended. I even got to meet Farro and friend Hayley Williams afterwards (and I caught one of his drumsticks when they were thrown to the crowd), which made the show all the more special for me.

The power of a HalfNoise show can be felt in the way their music brings people together. A HalfNoise show is a place where you can leave all of your problems at the door and dance all of your stresses away. Towards the end of the performance, it became more of a celebratory jam session with Farro bringing family and friends onstage, further contributing to the pure intimacy of a musical bond and how a unifying love for people around you can make for an unforgettable show.

Halfnoise in Brooklyn (from left to right: Daniel Kadawatha, Logan MacKenzie, Joey Howard, Joey Mullen, Zac Farro, Giovanni Balabisi) © Sophia Ragomo

I managed to record only a few choppy, low-quality videos of the performance as 1) I wanted to see and feel the music with my heart, not through my phone screen and 2) Farro himself even said during the performance to put phones away in order to truly experience the music (even more reason why I admire him as a musician.) I want to add those videos to show you just how uniquely energizing a HalfNoise show is.

HalfNoise at The End in Nashville

Ever since Farro’s recent return to the band Paramore last year, it seems as if they have been touring non-stop around the world since the release of After Laughter in May 2017. With touring comes the perfect opportunity to use Paramore’s large platform to showcase some HalfNoise tunes- and that is just what they did. Introducing the band to Paramore fans who may not have been familiar with HalfNoise’s retro-esque sound adds not only musical diversity to a Paramore show, but also shines the highly deserved spotlight on HalfNoise.

Last October, I attended the Nashville show during Paramore’s Tour Two with my mother (who had never listened to HalfNoise before.) After the show, she asked me to play the “Scooby song” on the way home. With the number of concerts that Paramore has been performing, along with HalfNoise making their brief appearances, I am fairly positive that my mother was not the only person who searched them up on Youtube the next day.

“Scooby’s in the Back” by HalfNoise

It is always like finding a hidden treasure whenever I discover artists whose music is a throwback. It is bands like HalfNoise who make me want to grab a lemon-shaped maraca and dance down the street, not caring at all if someone wonders what I am doing.

Show them some love by checking out their new EP titled Flowerss, which will be released on May 4. They may also be performing live somewhere near you — and take it from someone who has gone to a HalfNoise show — you don’t want to miss it.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store