HalfNoise is the brain child of Paramore drummer Zac Farro, which he started after he and his brother Josh left the Hayley Williams-fronted rockers in 2010. With Zac officially rejoining in 2017, Paramore released the synthpop-heavy Hard Times to much acclaim, but a lot of the fresh sound it was hailed for can be traced back to Farro’s output with HalfNoise. Days after concluding Paramore’s arena tour of the UK, HalfNoise played a sold out show at The Borderline club in the heart of London’s Soho.
HalfNoise came before the anticipating crowd and dived right into their brand of snappy indie pop. Making the leap from drumkit to the front of the stage is a risky move and not everybody has a smooth transition. Farro did give off a natural and relaxed vibe under the limelight, filling the room with his slightly off-beat charisma as his on-stage chatter always stayed just the right side of cheesy. He danced and jumped to the rhythm of the music, a tambourine rarely leaving his hands. As a lead vocalist he still has moments of uncertainty, however his falsetto was a pleasant surprise, reminiscent of Chris Martin from Coldplay’s more lively early tunes.
Although he is the sole full-time member of the band, Farro showered with praise the musicians by his side, repeatedly stating that this would not have been possible without them. Their choice to go light on samples and bet on organic live performance gave the songs a warmer, more playful feeling that the recordings. “I hope you like to dance because we don’t have any slow songs” Farro exclaimed, and his words were backed up by an irresistible groove.
The setlist was a walk through the best from HalfNoise’s two studio albums and several EPs, as well as two new songs off the upcoming EP Flowers, which indicated a logical continuation of Farro’s musical direction. Closing the show, HalfNoise went with the classical definition of the encore, choosing to play for the second time two of the best received tracks of the night – ‘My Mind’ and ‘Scooby’s at the Back’, the latter of which has been enjoying performances during Paramore’s concerts as well.
After just over an hour of music and a heartfelt thank-you from Farro, HalfNoise left the stage as those who still had the energy to dance continued to enjoy the Thursday evening at The Borderline. Definitely one to watch, Farro and his gang delivered a night of fresh-sounding indie synthpop and the promise of more to come.