Farewell Angelina Interview; Country Quartet Talks ‘Women and Wine’ EP, Touring + More
Farewell Angelina's newest EP, Women and Wine, out Friday (Jan. 25), is the coutry quartet's second release -- and a lot has changed since their first project. The Boot recently sat down with Lisa Torres, Ashley Gearing, Nicole Witt and Andrea Young to get the details on their new music, their 2019 touring plans and more.
A seven-track EP, Women and Wine is a collaborative effort that shows Farewell Angelina's evolution to this point in their career as a group. Torres says it's "taken a few years to write the songs" that made the cut for this project, but while process itself may have taken a while, but there was no shortage of fun and camaraderie during that time.
"It was so much fun because this was our first experience as the four of us to go into the studio together and create exactly what we were hearing in our dreams," Torres adds. "We’ve worked with great producers in the past, and that was wonderful, but this was just very different."
All four women took part in the writing process for and production of Women and Wine. The collaborative effort allowed them all to take the power into their own hands and curate a sound that they felt their fans would latch onto.
"The vocal blend really speaks to that. That was one of the X-factors," Witt reflects. "We wanted to hear everyone’s voice clearly and not have them overpowered by the band or overpowered by whoever was on melody so one voice went forward and the others went in the back. We wanted a wall of vocals."
Adds Gearing, "We all kind of brought a favorite song that we felt passionate about putting on the album."
"These are the types of things that fans gravitate towards. Without them, what are we doing? Singing in our bedrooms at home."
Farewell Angelina incorporate power vocals into their polished but rowdy sound. This time around, they got to show off their songwriting chops a bit more, and throw an added level instrumental flair into the mix. This quartet can belt it, they can saw the fiddle, and they can both harmonize and shine on their own -- and by doing so, they created something they are "incredibly proud of," says Torres.
"These are the types of things that [fans] gravitate towards," she adds. "Without them, what are we doing? Singing in our bedrooms at home."
The band's emphasis on their fans comes should come no surprise. Now on their second leg of the Women and Wine Tour, Farewell Angelina have traveled across the country over the past couple of years to do what they love most: bring their music to the people who want to hear it.
"What we get to do onstage is a party. Everybody’s in. We’re all there together," Witt says. "You can never repeat a concert. You can push play, you can hit play on Spotify 875 times, but when you get to a show, you can’t repeat that. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
"We really do love people," she adds. "We wanna meet everybody. We wanna make friends. We wanna engage. We hope we can do that with every show."
This time spent in front of audiences has taught the band plenty, too -- most especially, that it's "about the crowd, number one," says Young.
"If we didn’t fully understand that starting out, we know it now. We are literally there for them," she continues. "If they’re quiet, it’s our job to make ‘em loud. If they’re feelin’ it, it’s our job to make them feel more. It’s a growth process onstage. You’re reading the room and figuring out where everybody’s at, and then you figure out how to take them to the next place."
Often, Farewell Angelina will perform two 45-minute sets. During the intermission, they'll sit at their merch table to greet fans and feel out the crowd -- and then, based on those interactions and how the audience is responding during the set, they switche things up in the moment.
"We’re never afraid to change our set on the spot because we’ve learned that that matters," Torres says -- and that adaptability helps them survive even outside their own headlining shows.
"It depends on what show you’re playing. We play these really great theaters with these two 45-minute sets," Torres continues. "But then we go play country fests in Wisconsin, and you’re playing for a rowdy crowd that’s waiting for [Jason] Aldean to play. It’s our job to get them more rowdy and get them more pumped for that next artist."
It's this mindset that has taken Farewell Angelina places -- literally. The quartet recently performed the national anthem at a Kansas City Chiefs game during the NFL playoffs, and they sang at the Kentucky Derby and an ACM Awards after-party in the spring of 2018 as well. Now, they're touring around the United States through April, and are headed to play shows in Switzerland and beyond this summer.
Farewell Angelina's four members' personalities are strong, but a perhaps-secret weapon is their newest member, Gearing. Women and Wine is her first release as a part of the group, but now, she's so in sync with her bandmates, it's as though she was there all along.
"It’s kind of crazy because Nicole and I have been sisters since I moved to town when I was, like, 15. She’s always been a part of my life; when I was doing my solo career, she was writing music with me. So for her to bring me into this sisterhood here, and to create a bond with Andrea and Lisa as well, has been so fun, personally," Gearing says. "Then, obviously, there’s the business mind, that we just all kind of agree on what we want to happen, and that we just want to surround ourselves with great people, make good music and just be happy and share this awesome sisterhood with the rest of the world.
"So I’m very, very lucky that they allowed me to be in," Gearing adds. "It’s just a constant evolution, I think, too, every night that we play together. It feels like I’ve been in it for 10 years, in a good way."
Torres, Witt and Young agreed that Gearing is an "MVP" each week. But they all bring a positive attitude to the table, and listeners can hear it in the music. Torres sums it up best, saying they're in the group together to "share the joys and share the struggles."
Watch Farewell Angelina Cover "The House of the Rising Sun"
Who Else Is Releasing New Music in 2019?