With the release of her debut album Higher Harm, Old Sault weaves together elements of folk, shoegaze, and alt-rock to craft a sound uniquely her own.
We chat with Angie Farrr (Old Sault) about the making her incredible debut and the raw emotional passion behind it all.
Old Sault gives us an insight into her debut album, full of dreamy vocal melodies and lush, immersive instrumental arrangements and insane talent.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
ANGIE: Hey! Good thank you! At this very second I’m sipping a coffee and listening to this Novo Amor album, Heiress. Highly recommend.
HAPPY: We’ve been spinning Higher Harm pretty relentlessly in the office! How does it feel having the album out there in the world?
ANGIE: Thank you so much! I’m a long-time subscriber of the mag so it means the world to me that you guys are listening to it. It feels really good, like a giant weight lifted – But I’m so bored now and ready to let another project consume my life.
HAPPY: The one thing that immediately jumped out at us from the record was its sense of catharsis. Did you find the process of writing and recording the album cathartic?
ANGIE: I couldn’t use a better word to describe what it was like making the album. I think, writing the album was a massive release for me mentally. But actually getting into the studio, creating the sounds, letting go and immersing myself in the whole process was cathartic. Like the studio was a lake and I was swimming in it for a year. I came out a new, lighter person as cliché as it sounds.
HAPPY: For a debut full-length, it has a very well-developed direction of sound. Is Old Sault your first musical project? Or have you been working on other things before this?
ANGIE: I have been making music for about 10 years but Old Sault is my first official musical project with proper recorded material. Prior to the release of my EP in 2016, I would write and record demos at home. They’re probably lost on a hard-drive somewhere inside the void (that is my garage). If I’m being really honest, I was embarrassed by my demos and kept my music really private until I met Govinda, he liked my song Ghost and now I accidentally have 2 records.
HAPPY: How did you approach this album differently to your EP? If at all…
ANGIE: When I made the EP, I put so much of my emotional energy into the demos I recorded at home that when it got to the studio, I couldn’t replicate that rawness or emotion again. I decided not to demo any of the songs on the album. My intention was to capture the emotions behind the tracks on the first play, instead of replicate something that’s already been put together. Technically what you hear on the album are the demos – Just recorded on better equipment than the shit in my bedroom.
HAPPY: Could you walk us through the recording process of the album? Who was involved and where did you work on it?
ANGIE: I worked with Govinda Doyle in his studio at Bilambil Heights. We’d been talking heaps about doing a full-length record and once I finished writing, I pitched the idea of coming in without any guide tracks or demos and just making the album from scratch. I played the songs to him in person and it was a nicer, more intimate way to introduce the songs.
We recorded all of the guitar and vocals first and we agreed to build the instrumental around it. That’s sort of an unconventional way of doing things but I wanted the instruments to move with my voice, and not the other way around.
It was just Govinda and I making the record, he played all of the drums and we co-produced the lot. My friend Anthony Vallone helped out with drums on my track Suburban Failure, and my friend Ellie Hopley sang some harmonies on Melbourne.
HAPPY: Are there any particular artists you’re really loving at the moment?
ANGIE: I’m living for the new Bon Iver releases at the moment and I’m a pretty annoyingly obsessive Manchester Orchestra fan. The new Bad Books record is also great. Also heaps of Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers and my friend just introduced me to Winnie Raeder which I reckon is a must listen.
HAPPY: What’s next for Old Sault? Any other exciting plans in the works?
ANGIE: I’ve been making some music for a film that my friend will be releasing soon. I haven’t done anything like this before so I’m excited to give myself to this project for a while!
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
ANGIE: Thanks guys! Love y’all x