April 2010. Poolside at a Tennessee lakehouse.
Three musicians and a songwriting friend were toying with a fiddle riff, just to see where it might lead. It became the hook for a song, and once they launched into the "Home Sweet Home" chorus, the three voices fell into place with an unexpected, other-worldly sound.
Instant harmony. Almost-instant band.
The Farm is in many ways a hybrid act a trio deeply rooted in country music, that folds in sonic elements from a variety of popular-music genres but the core is built around a solid, identifiable vocal harmony.
Interlocking voices have been an important thread in countrys history, from the Sons of the Pioneers through Alabama through Restless Heart through Lady Antebellum. The Farm Nick Hoffman, Damien Horne and Krista Marie puts its own distinct spin on the sound, a tightly woven mesh that relies on the synthesis of three musicians who found their way to Nashville from different parts of the U.S. with different sets of musical influences.
The Farms unified blend is an aural representation of the melting-pot mentality at the heart of America.
"There are a lot of bands out there that you could take a member out and not know the difference," Nick, the fiddle-playing singer, notes. "This is not one of those bands."
"Its really three elements that you bring together," Krista adds. "Like earth, wind, fire and there we are."
The Farms first album demonstrates the various musical sources at work. The crunchy chords in "Fresh Off the Farm" pull from classic rock. "Be Grateful" relies on pop melodicism. And "Farm Party" builds on a hip-hop counter-hook and a rhythmic center thats old-school R&B at its heart.
Despite the outside influences, The Farm is clearly a country project, built from heartland values, Nicks snarling fiddle, and those intense harmonies created by three distinct solo voices.
"People are so eclectic in the way that they listen to music and the way they receive music," Damien observes. "You can keep it country, and still incorporate all the things we are each capable of doing."
Its a bold, edgy mix that dares to be different and for The Farm, that daring sound is a fundamental part of the trios makeup. Nick was a country traditionalist, Krista was a former solo vocalist with a background in opera and standards, and Damien had first moved to Nashville with an alternative-rock band and ended up opening concerts for R&B artist John Legend. Manager Marc Oswald was the first to suggest the three write together. Nick brought along songwriter-producer Danny Myrick, a co-writer of Jason Aldeans genre-busting "Shes Country," and the four sat down to write, just to see if anything might come of it.