The first time I saw the Farallon Islands I’ll have to admit I was scared. I’m that kid with an over-active imagination who thinks every brand new sight is Roland Emmerich’s Day After Tomorrow finally come to life. Thus, when the supposedly unbroken vista of the Pacific Ocean is suddenly one day broken by a series of bumps way off in the distance, a man’s mind can get to running. I thought “Finally, sea monsters” and I thought “Finally, the undersea volcanoes have fought their way to the surface and will spray molten lava in to the air” and then I thought “Oh man, please please please be sea monsters.” And then my girlfriend told me that the bumps on the horizon were actually a chain of islands and had been for thousands of years. Though it isn’t sea monsters, a chain of islands hanging out all mistily off the coast of California is pretty fucking cool.
The first time I read about Farallons – the San Francisco-based band on the verge of releasing their first album – I heard the terms “surf rock” and “folk”. I thought, “Finally the Fleet Foxes and Dick Dale have a had a sun-soaked baby boy” and that’s all I could wrap my mind around, that folk and surf rock were a perfect combination. A sonic equivalent to the combo of collard and greens. In the wrong hands this could be Kumbayah turned to 11, but Farallons have a sense of both place and a very apparent vision and the music they produce blends the upbeat jingle of The Beach boys with the more somber elements of folk rock. When my imagination goes jogging it can go far and wide, and it’s nice to see that every once in a while we music writers get a description and we get it right.