Life led Kevin Farge to Costa Rica when he was eight, and while he eventually headed back to Texas – he yearned to be back in the small beach town. So one day several years ago he made the move back and has been inspired by everything from the people to the everyday surf. We talked about his moves and how they’ve impacted his creative spirit, his visual art, and more like his new album, ‘Halcyon Days,’ which drops April 22nd.
Kendra: What an adventurous childhood you had. Texas to Costa Rica, then back to Texas. Now you’re living in Costa Rica again. What was it about Central America that drew you back there as an adult?
Kevin Farge: I had such good memories of the time I had spent in this little town in Costa Rica growing up. Out in the countryside, in any country, the pace of life is so much slower. I love taking things at the pace they come at, just enjoying the moment. There’s a familiarity and a everybody knows everybody kind of feeling that you can get in small towns. I love the people here. I love getting to speak Spanish. I feel like a part of my life is missing when I don’t get to speak Spanish. And I love surfing here, having it be a normal part of my life. Walk to the beach, surf with a few friends, walk home, do something else.
Kendra: Do you feel being able to be engulfed in new cultures has helped your creativity over the years?
Kevin Farge: I feel like it helps keep your perspective fresh and reminds you that there are multiple perspectives. I find that inspiring.
Kendra: Speaking of your creativity, how do you think it’s developed between ‘Ela Li’ and your April release, ‘Halcyon Days?’
Kevin Farge: I think that with ‘Ela Li,’ I was trying to create my own language and syntax of sound. With ‘Halcyon Days,’ I think I was a little more content to do a singer-songwriter thing and bring my own perspective to it than before.
Kendra: Again, you’re a Texas native, you’ve been described as a cowboy in Central America, and you can hear that in “Dirt Road Paradise.” Are you always looking for ways to pay homage to the places you’ve called home in your work?
Kevin Farge: I think I just can’t help it!
Kendra: This month I’m also talking to a cellist. I thought this is an instrument you don’t hear all the time. Then I look at the liner notes of ‘Halcyon Days,’ and I notice that a cellist by the name of Isabel Castellvi plays on it. How did this pairing come to be?
Kevin Farge: I love the tone of the cello. Isabel played on an album I like a lot, Diane Cluck’s ‘Boneset,’ and I had these two songs, “Endlessness” and “Learning How to Stand”, that I thought would sound great with a cello. So I reached out to Isabel to see if she wanted to play on them, and she did. She graced these songs with beautiful cello parts.
Kendra: On top of music, you’re also a visual artist. Does your creative process differ from visual art to music at all? Do you draw from different things?
Kevin Farge: Yes, definitely. But there’s that same excitement of trying to connect with the listener or viewer that feels immediate. One thing I kind of enjoy about visual art is that it doesn’t need words to do its function. It can use other parts of the brain where words don’t really need to enter into your appreciation of it or of having some experience with it.
Kendra: You also studied conservation biology. How do you think musicians can go about helping the environment? Because we all know Mother Nature needs all the help we can give her right now.
Kevin Farge: I think getting involved in the work of a conservation organization in your area is a great way to help. And spend some more time getting to know the plants and animals that call your area home.
Kendra: Okay, side note – with this month being Easter…my favorite holiday only because the candy game is on point, I want to ask if you could have the perfect holiday basket filled with your favorite treat and an album that you cannot live without, what would be in your basket?
Kevin Farge: The Easter candy game is no joke. Is it weird if I say olives? I would like a jar of olives and Maxine Funke’s ‘Felt’ album.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘Halcyon Days’ out April 22nd, what’s next for you as spring continues to roll into summer?
Kevin Farge: Going through the wash cycle at the surf spot and working on the next album! I’m very excited to share it.