Devon-based 90s three-piece reunited
Mark Brend, Matt Gale and Cliff Glanfield formed Fariña in 1995, gaining acclaim for their albums ‘Three People’ and ‘Allotments’; epic collections of filmic, bittersweet chamber pop redolent of peak-era Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone. There were, quite frankly, trumpets. After splitting in the 00s, the trio have reunited to record a soundtrack EP to Brend’s debut novel ‘Undercliff’, a gently beguiling tale set amid the post-hippy fall-out of 1972, in which a listless divorcee finds himself drawn into the world of sinister religious cult The Olive Grove.
“It means ‘flour’ in Spanish, I believe,” says Brend. “We just liked the sound of the word.” Unlike their two albums, ‘The Undercliff Suite’ is entirely instrumental, with a more experimental, post-rock feel, perhaps suggesting a bold new direction for a band who seem warmly receptive to longer-term collaborations. “Reforming Fariña just seemed like a natural, logical step,” he adds. “I don’t recall us even discussing it that much. We just started writing together and it was if the intervening years hadn’t happened.”
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“The music is an attempt to capture the atmosphere of aspects of the book, rather than soundtrack them in a literal sense,” Brend is keen to stress. Appropriate then, that the EP is quietly unsettling, with soothing, jazz-tinged brass and folk-club accordion floating elegantly across beds of vintage synths provided, perhaps predictably, by Brend. And it culminates in the beautiful, hymn-like ‘Resurgam’, evoking images of Sir Hubert Parry let loose upon a microKORG.
‘The Undercliff Suite’ is released by Hanky Panky