Artist Cary Farley’s uniquely pared-down music resonates with purity. An authentic and enigmatic songwriter, Farley has developed a singular style that evokes the spirit of a one-room concert: face-to-face, nothing extra, nothing fake. Based in a Northern California area known as the Gem of the Foothills, Farley, who also works as a high school counselor, has led a music career as eclectic as his influences. He’s performed at the iconic Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, formed and led annual charity concert “An Evening with Cary Farley” to raise money supporting the local homeless youth population, and honed his singular folk-meets-grunge-ballad style through live shows across the country. His music is surprising, refined, and clear, reflecting his attitude toward songwriting: “I want it raw and simple. I don’t need it perfect. I’d rather make something real.”
A musician since the age of six, Farley grew up with two musically-inclined older brothers and was heavily influenced by the early-90s shift from hair metal to the raw aesthetic of the grunge movement. His early releases (Diverse, The Journey, Unwind, Goodnight) were primarily instrumental and often recorded in his home studio. He eventually evolved to incorporate vocal tracks on his 2016 Self-Titled album, recording instruments separately in a professional studio setting. But with the upcoming release of his 5th full-length album The Bullet and the Screw, Farley returns to the simplicity of his roots. Set for streaming and vinyl release in the Fall 2021, The Bullet and the Screw demonstrates a rawness and refreshing innocence rarely found in modern music. Produced by Farley and recording engineer Ethan Swett, who also plays cello in several tracks, the album reveals Farley’s sparse and haunting vision through elegant, piano-led ballads (recorded at his home studio on his own baby grand), mellow acoustic guitar melodies (played on a vintage, pre-war Martin), and crisp, candid vocal lines. “I learned so much from playing live, and I wanted to recreate that energy. I’m trying to capture each song as a performance.” The album is laced with striking moments of electric guitar— the only non-acoustic element in the recordings. In debut single “She Brings Me Love,” meandering piano and gently swelling strings frame a portrait of modern love, told through a shifting series of interconnected metaphors: She brings me the ocean/Well she’s high tide/And moonlight.