Courtney Farren Is Just Getting Started with 'Rabbit King' [EP Review]

Kieran Kohorst

The opening track on Courtney Farren’s debut EP Rabbit King is delivered with the demeanor of a meditation. “I’m just getting started / I’m the king,” she declares self-assuredly, never rising above her even-keel vocal inflections. Even in its lack of expressive bravado, Farren’s words sway in the breeze of the instrumental in a manner that convinces you of her virtue. Her voice rises to each occasion throughout the 4-track project, whether it be the flittering melodies of the rock-tinted ode “White Rabbit”, the dampened tone of dejection on “Care,” or the piano-flirting up-and-down of “Happy.” In their variety, the songs all feel equally part of the collection, depending on one another for context. Farren’s first impression brings into focus her eclecticism as an artist, whether that be in her vocal performance, sonic direction, or interpreted emotions. The wide-ranging sounds are reinforced by the visuals that accompany the project, of which there are 3 of varying styles curated for its respective track. “This EP contains four distinct songs that demonstrate how it's possible to be worried about the future while simultaneously falling in love and feeling hope,” Farren says of the project. “To be alive right now is to be constantly emotionally conflicted, and I hope this EP conveys my personal experience of that modern dilemma." While she may be falling victim to this conundrum, there’s little conflict to be found in the music on Rabbit King, a concisely elaborate commentary on Farren’s universal personhood. 

When you’ve been around music for as long as Courtney Farren, you learn a few things. “The world is divisive,” she’s realized. “The consequences range from mildly distracting gossip to polarizing political turmoils. I'm grateful for the opportunity to express my experiences and perceptions through music.” Her travels as an artist have sharpened her point of view and illuminated the hard truths we all share. Most of her travel has been through touring, playing shows in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston, also taking stages overseas in places like Dublin and Paris. Originally from the Bay Area, she took a sabbatical of sorts to a remote village in Croatia, a getaway that she spent refining her production and songwriting skills. Farren played a part in the production and mixing of Rabbit King while also writing some of the most polished lyrics of her career. Even in a divisive world, Rabbit King emerges as music fit for shared acclaim.

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