Where to begin with a band that spans the better part of the 21st century, and whose members would experience Secondary and Post-Secondary graduations, marriage, and the birth of children in that time. And perhaps, most astonishingly, the one thing that didn’t change was the band’s nondescript moniker, The Farewell Circuit, birthed from a TV Guide, and the very reason this biography begins here.
The early days of The Farewell Circuit were spent playing on bar tops for mini-sliders, Greco-Roman style wrestling in the studio, becoming slaves to Myspace and Purevolume fandom, and lying about the origins of the name. Mostly though, they played music. Those early days of writing and performing offer a window into the issues, lack-of-brevity, and complexity of the late teenage years. Just Listen. They look back on those days with a wry smile, knowing those immature and sensationalist moments we’ve all experienced are a part of our nebulous histories and serve as evidence of our mutable selves.
A move to Minneapolis in 2006 ushered in a shift in sonic personality with the addition of guitarist DJ House. After two self-recorded releases, and still more aural and lineup changes, they began a fruitful relationship with producer/engineer Brett Bullion. The collaboration marked a point where navigating the labyrinth between performance and tape became limiting and burdensome. For the first time, lead singer Danny O’Brien felt the presence of an engineer/producer enhanced the process and contributed to a project he was holistically proud of, and In Our Bones was born.
As In Our Bones began to wear out people’s turntables, The Farewell Circuit said goodbye to longtime drummer and friend Geoff Hartnell, leaving Danny O’Brien as the only original member. Alex Young would seamlessly integrate his percussive styling adding the kit to his existing auxiliary roles. 2012 would see The Farewell Circuit add Matt O’Brien at bass guitar, and the new performers under the banner of old would begin to craft and mold the forthcoming collection of songs. We Were Wolves is a collection of live performances that were recorded in just 3 days with Brett Bullion during the Fall of 2012. More than ever they feel the live, emotive performances come through the recorded medium. Each song played with open sight-lines, beginning to end, with minimal over-dubs.
If there is a concept that dovetails 2011′s In Our Bones to We Were Wolves, it’s the chaotic and sometimes disjunctive realities we call life; sometimes curated with intention, and other times elbowed and wrestled into submission; always unsuccessfully, but never without an imperfect and beautiful result. There’s the dialectic tone of songs like “Admission” where myth and mystery are set to perfectly restrained instrumentation. “Faces of Friends” is a window into Danny’s development work in East Africa. When turning on the reel in our heads is an opportunity to remember rightly those moments of the past and an opportunity to transform our present reality to honor those friends and histories.
There’s a current that gives life to this continually growing collection of moments. Swirling soundscapes and percussive brilliance set to the gentle voice blend to become a musical expression and moment that moves you. They blend to become a musical expression and moment that moves you. An utterly visceral jarring transposed from the writer’s reality, creatively coaxed into a moment, and grafted into a collective story. And a palpable hope runs deep within the currents of this unraveling story, a love and light to change a seemingly immutable world limb by limb, deep in our bones, where love produces a flicker that can spark the sun.