The name Farah Elle is never far from anyone’s lips when discussing the most promising musical talent in Ireland. Despite the singer-songwriter and pianist’s stellar reputation as a composer and performer, to date she has only one track available to listen to on DSPs: a sublime cover of Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ that has earned almost 20,000 streams.
It’s with long-awaited joy, then, that we welcome the release of Farah Elle ’s new single, ‘Play It By Ear ’, which is be released independently today, Wednesday 20th April 2022 .
At 3-and-a-half minutes long, ‘Play It By Ear’ opens with twinkling keys before the Libyan-Irish musician’s distinctive vocal draws the listener into her world of intrigue. Opening the second verse she sings, “Empty but open are my eyes because I tried to lie but I can’t deny this feeling” before the song reaches a joyous, no holds barred crescendo in true Farah Elle style.
Farah says: “‘Play it by Ear’ is a song about how we can only ever really take life as it comes. Even when striving to achieve and believe in our long-term goals, we still, in a practical sense, can only take things day-by-day. Some things just need to be played by ear, whether we like it or not.
“The middle eight in this song is simply about my ‘why’ for making music: “I do this to remove it from my bones”. “It” represents the pain that comes with the gift of being alive. In polarity to that pain, is the beauty that motivates us to keep going. Music is one of the most moving aspects of my human experience and helps me see the beauty in the bigger picture.”
Farah Elle’s powerful cadence is a commanding force amongst instantly captivating cinematic soundscapes. Through songwriting, the North African-Irish artist explores her heritage and upbringing and how it manifests as she experiences life.
On her debut album FATIMA , due for release this autumn, themes of displacement in the period post-Libyan Revolution coexist with songs navigating the challenges of adulthood. Farah describes this introduction as a “coming of age record”, one across which she hears herself “unfolding in the songs”. Farah Elle has melded her combined North African and Irish heritage to create a sound that is thoroughly contemporary and completely her own.
To date, Farah has played numerous prestigious venues and festivals including Vicar Street, The Sugar Club, Electric Picnic, and All Together Now. In November 2021, Farah collaborated with renowned Irish folk musician Liam Ó Maonlaí for a performance commissioned specially for the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards. As well as working as an artist, Farah dedicates time to humanitarian aid work and working with young people from ethnic minorities on creative expression through music. She also gives music and wellness workshops to people of all ages and backgrounds.
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Photo: Abe Neihum