Leeds trio Far Caspian have just released their debut EP ‘Between Days’ via Dance To The Radio. Featuring recent singles ‘Blue’, ‘The Place’ and ‘Let’s Go Outside’, it’s a laid-back listen with enough warmth to shake off these chilly November days. Frontman and guitarist Joel Johnston - originally from Ireland - runs us through his band’s new release, track by track.
This was the first track I wrote for the EP. I started writing in January when I went back to Leeds after visiting family back home for Christmas. I was feeling homesick and disconnected to where I was living, and the weather was making me wish it was summer. This pretty much inspired the whole EP in one way or the other. I started with the main guitar part, and I then began singing random words to it, and the first thing that came to me was: "It's hard to know which way to go." That essentially summarised where I was at at the time, Far Caspian wasn't really a thing at that point, and I was struggling with depression and struggling financially from doing freelance production work so I was constantly thinking whether I should just get an office job and stop trying to make music work as my main income. I'm glad I didn't. (Still broke but I've got some purpose to keep me going.) But most people who do freelance straight out of Uni or any sort of unconventional job all seem to be in the same boat. It's a constant fight against yourself to play it safe or do something you aren't passionate about to live more comfortably. I suppose the track is about reminiscing on less responsible times as much as it is about the present.
'Blue' was a track I wrote a few years ago and wasn't actually meant to be on the EP. We had another track that we ended up hating so I found it actually fit perfectly with everything else. It's about being emotionally invested in someone who only gives you a small part of their time. It's based on one of my friend's experience with the old friend zone situation. He was a big fan when I showed it to him. He's happily moved on now and clear of the dreaded zone.
'The Place' is about social anxiety. Something I began to feel in the last year as I was writing these songs. It was a weird experience as I wasn't awkward in my teenage years but once I had to take on adult responsibilities I sort of went back within myself and became much more anxious at social situations. I wanted to write a song that based on the conflict between who I knew I was versus how I was acting when feeling that way - "I Love it when she rolls me up but I know I never weigh enough."
This is almost a continuation on from that feeling. It's a self-reassurance to change even though taking the first step is the most emotional thing to do. From my personal experience, beating anything depression or anxiety related has only ever worked when I've forced myself through that anxious feeling and done things my head is trying to shy away from. The phrase 'Let's Go Outside' is, on one hand, a metaphor for getting out of your head and the worries that you face every day and focus more on the positive things that you have. But on the opposite end of that idea its also based on the mental health epidemic in my home country of Northern Ireland. We have a growing suicide rate especially in Males and I know friends who have first-hand experiences with this. It's a strange picture to paint that such a beautiful country from the outside can have such a severe issue within. There definitely needs to be more work done to help out people who are struggling.
The last track on the EP is the most straightforward regarding what I was thinking when writing. It's about leaving your hometown, friends you've grown up with and family. It was difficult to adjust to living in cities after so many years in a very chilled, picturesque place like Fermanagh (visit Enniskillen if you're planning a trip to Ireland, real good Guinness in Blakes of the Hollow) and missing friends that you have life-long experiences with. On the other hand, moving to England and living in different cities has given me the opportunity to start this band and play loads of gigs supporting some amazing bands. So I've learnt that no matter where you are there will be both positives and negatives. We shot a load of footage on an old camcorder over the last few months when we were doing support shows and I cut it all together for the music video to 'Finding My Way Home'. It's a sweet sentiment to have as it shows how much fun we've had together travelling around and playing these songs. We've all had some pretty rough times this year in different ways but being able to get through it together and forget about what's going on has helped us all a serious amount.
This EP has grown with us over the last year and has helped us work through issues we've faced. I'm proud to say we recorded and mixed it ourselves in our dingy basement with bad acoustics and bedroom. I hope at least one person will hear it and be hopeful for their future. Please enjoy 'Between Days'.
Far Caspian’s EP ‘Between Days’ is out now. They play Live at Leeds on 4th May.