Feralman journeys through life like the poet he is. His music is just a channel, an extension of his thoughts and mind at play. With a fable-like writing style, you see strains of greats like Cat Stevens and Paul Simon in his writing. What has evolved into something of a cultural jewel still has the roots of the past. This is his upcoming album, Allegories.
A popular story from days of yore opens up this album. Called The Mouse and The Lion, it creates a rich storyboard with a steady, soothing instrumental flow. The progression is one of my favourites, and it magnifies the significance of a story like this. As the moral dissolves through the song and the writing, it is evident that Feralman is a songwriter that comes around once in a lifetime.
Your music seems to be very story/narrative centric. How did you land on this music style?
The whole album is told in metaphor. I like the idea of expressing and sharing a message in a slightly less direct way. I think it creates another layer of interest, one on the literal story of the song and a second on the metaphorical meaning behind it. It was my brother who first suggested I use metaphor when I played him my first draft of “Let It Heal You”, which was the first song I wrote on the album.
At that time it was very literal and he mentioned a few songs that always grabbed his attention by using metaphor. So I rewrote the lyrics with that in mind, during our phone call. I liked it so much, I applied the same approach to all songs on the album!
Stories to tell and sing
The Ballad of Life and Death is complex imagery of the inescapable tale of a life’s worth of experience. As you dive deeper into the writing and style, you’re spellbound by the simplicities that make life so much more beautiful. It is a tale of time and tides that go by, and it is written spectacularly. The Wolf Cried Out has a rhythm that sticks to your mind, as you strive to search for the moral you might already know.
Varied styles influence your music, what genres would you say inspire you the most?
Folk, Indie Folk, Indie, Rock, Acoustic, Americana – all more obvious influences. But I’m also heavily influenced by a lot of jazz and classical music. I love the expansive sound that orchestral components can contribute.
The album itself might be talking about allegories through imagery, but is determined to create a complex web that we weave through life and the simple methods to understand it. Viewing it as a tale of varied proportions, calcifies as the root moral and premise in hand. Maybe simple living would take away the innumerable pressures of life. Believe has a ballad’s core, with simplistic chord progressions that make the lyrics levitate.
Through morals in music
How much do you think this album departures from Chapters 35-43 in terms of sound and story?
LOADS! “Chapters” was an introspective literal album about processing trauma and grief and finding strength to push through those moments. “Allegories” is much more expansive, much more ambitious and significantly more outward facing. “Chapters” was for me. “Allegories”is for all.
Feralman shifts from his tone to a sound wizard’s cathedral with his new album. Golden Canary is a tapestry of sonic servings that cannot be compared to his prior work. If I was to allude to a brilliant album, this would be the equivalent of Jeff Buckley’s Grace.
What elements of technology intertwine with your somewhat traditional songwriting style?
I like to try and use organic instruments where possible, a lot of the instruments including strings, flutes and percussion are live recorded, and obviously the guitars too. With that said, there are a lot of synth based elements in these songs also. Sefi’s touch is also significant, he is a master, mixing and mastering engineer.
As strings, guitars and mild percussion intersect-the story remains at the center of his compositions. The vocals really draw your attention, with just the powerful play of prose and words. If this wordsmith was to be described, no one would be able to do it better than him.
The next big thing
Then comes the question of this shift. What was the catalyst? Where did it stop and end? Does the same theme plague him or inspire. The push as a musician might alter, but the passion remains steadfast. Perhaps you are witnessing it in full bloom with Feralman. Perhaps this is nothing but a preface for the real story he wants to tell.
In terms of unexplored arenas, what would you like to bring into your genre of music?
I’m currently thinking about linking video with music more. Rather than just have ‘a video’, I’m forming the idea of making a short film for one of the longer (15 minutes) songs I’m currently working on. In terms of unexplored arenas, I love the idea of using really uncommon instruments. There are some really cool woodwind and wind instruments, and lots of African percussion is great. I love the didgeridoo too.
Feralman releases this album on the 10th of March, 2023. For this year, I could not recommend an album worth listening to more than this.