Last month I was commenting on the perceived rise and rise of poetry being vocalized with electro-acoustic and drone music while reviewing the Piptsjilling album. As if to lend more support to that observation I stumbled across the French collective known as FareWell Poetry while scanning a friends newsfeed on Facebook and was immediately struck by their interesting use of a wide range of instruments along with poetry. Their distinctive sound lies  somewhere amongst the  electro-acoustic, modern classical , post punk, shoegaze, experimental  and slightly avant-garde genres and I like the fact that you cannot quite pin them down to any of these descriptions – truly something new on the scene then ! 

On their latest track ‘Hope (in the full, indomitable light of)’ FareWell Poetry include:  Jayne Amara Ross: poetry, 8 and 16mm filming for live video footage; Frédéric D. Oberland: electric guitar, fender rhodes, hammond organ, bowed cymbals; Eat Gas: electric guitar & bass, glockenspiel, harmonic pipe; Colin Johnco: mpc, analog feedbacks; Stanislas Grimbert: drums & percussion; Dave Olliffe: electric guitar; Gaspar Claus: cello; Christelle Lassort: violin. This lineup is however quite fluid and numerous guest musicians have been known to play in some of their other live gigs who all add their own distinctive flavour and sound interest to the ensemble.

Hope starts off in fairly melancholic and subdued fashion with a quiet pulsing electronic drone joined by gentle processed guitars and a wailing sound that I cannot place the origin of, but which sounds wonderfully desolate over the restrained background, like an injured seal crying from a bleak distant shoreline. A haunting piece of cello melody introduces the well paced poetry reading by Jayne Amara Ross which blends perfectly with the music.

As the poetry fades the track slowly begins to build up in tempo and we are lifted from melancholia into a completely uplifting and rousing second half. The drums pick up the rhythm and cymbals splash amongst a beatifully orchestrated wash of shimmering guitars, glockenspiel, violin and electronic textures which all reach a perfectly constructed crescendo then fade out to leave processed sounds gently burbling and fading over the final lines of the poem. 

This is without doubt one of the most beautiful tracks I have listened to this year and deserves to be heard by a much wider audience. Much to my surprise FareWell Poetry are currently unsigned, a travesty of huge proportions that will soon be rectified with a release (Penelope on the Boredom Bridge) on the Facture sub-label of the Fluid Audio label.

Until that release you can hear more tracks from FareWell Poetry, watch them play live and keep informed about their live performances and future releases using the following links:




Fluid Radio: Hope

Fluid Radio: As True as Troilus (Live at 36 Heures Festival) Paris