Farallons is a West Marin-based recording project comprised of Andrew Brennan, Aubrey Trinnaman, and Blake Henderson.
Plant Life was made over the course of 5 years, with quick bursts of tracking interspersed between long periods of dormancy. This allowed the songs time to breathe and grow, gestate and mature, and ultimately, unfurl into their full-grown lives. For music is a life form of its own; a dynamic entity released and capable of interacting with other life. Among other things, Plant Life absorbed and now reflects the long and ever-changing experience we shared in making the record.
Plant Life has many contributors. For a long time, Farallons was a live band, and in addition to the 3 core recording members, Justin Weiner played drums and Mateo Lugo played guitar. They lend their considerable skills here, both in terms of their recorded performances on the record, and the shared experience of exploring these songs live. Scott Fetzer, who was in Farallons in its early years, graciously lends his vocals and guitar playing as well.
There was a time towards the beginning of making Plant Life when the band decided to bring in some outside help. They all agreed to shoot for the moon and ask a long-admired artist to help; that was Luke Temple, who to everyone's great surprise and joy, flew out to California to spend a week tracking with the band in West Marin. Simply put, Luke helped the band stop talking and start playing. He also plays an assortment of instruments on the record, and his contributions helped get the band out of a musical rut. He ended up liking California so much that he decided to stay, and has since become a friend and integral part of the musical community.
At the very beginning, the band spent 3 days of live tracking with engineer Jeremy Black at his studio, Coyote Hearing, in Oakland. Jeremy would later lend his drumming to some tracks as well.
Tim Ramsey was thankfully around during the week spent with Luke, and spent an afternoon playing pedal steel on the record. Kacey Johansing sings powerfully on "Our Time," along with backing vocals from Bronwen Murch, Ashley Eva Brock, and Vanessa Warring. Patrick Cress was the last contributor to come to the table, and played his heart out during a morning of saxophone and clarinet recording.
Plant Life takes its time. It reaches, grows, to form a canopy. There is a lot to see. There is even more to hear.
"Farallons’ music is painted in shades of California, though not in the sunny, beach-rock way often associated with the state. It's warm but dark – darker than it initially seems, darker even so with every listen. It takes its time, moving forward at its own pace, only after each electric guitar reverberation has properly rung out, and every acoustic riff has been distinguished. It's stripped back, but also layered. It holds in it the power of what makes California so attractive–it's beautiful, and there's a certain ease to it – but in a more realistic way than say, The Beach Boys ever did. It's less about “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and more concerned with modern disconnects, though the fun is still there (See: “With Our Friends”). The band still has some “Ooo-Ooo” sing-a-long moments, but it gets real where a lot of surf bands fail to." From the Bay Bridged, July 2, 2013.