BUFFALO, N.Y. — Spend a few minutes with local musician Michael Farrow and you'll see, he's always smiling and laughing.
"I think everyone comes from a different place musically. The other singer in the band, she's very much from the musical theater side of things. Which is really great because I love a little drama," he said with a belly laugh when describing his fellow musicians in his namesake band.
When Farrow first started writing songs with bass player and producer Andre Pillette a couple years ago though, he was worried they wouldn't be upbeat enough.
"He writes a lot of happy sounding things and I write a lot of deep and meaningful and heavy things," Farrow said. "So I'm like I don't know how deep and heavy's going to work with happy. but it does."
Pillette is responsible for bringing the band together. He found his lead singer through a Craigslist ad, and promptly named the group after him.
"When you hear Mike sing, and you hear what the message that he's trying to say out there, and you put this guy in front of the band, it's pretty obvious that the name of the band needed to be Farrow," Pillette said.
They call themselves a "rock and soul" group, with Farrow's powerful lyrics bringing depth to their groove-worthy beats. One example is the single, "Steal My Joy."
"I'm talking about illegal immigration," Farrow said. "I'm talking about broken up families and these kind of heavy things, and the reason I'm talking about them is I'm like nothing, no oppressive force is going to steal my joy."
Joy is Revolutionary. It's their tagline and their purpose. Never has the mission been more challenged than following the mass shooting at Tops in May.
"I think it's really easy for us to respond to the Buffalo massacre and the hurt in the community, because we're singing about that hurt automatically," Farrow said. "Our band is about talking about those things, and so since we're already talking about these things it's easier to perform. I don't think I could perform music right now that wasn't talking about those things. Those heart hurts and the needs of a community."
Farrow's debut album, the first of three E.P.'s called "Agitate," "Educate," and "Organize," comes out this weekend. They'll be celebrating with an album release party at Sportsmen's Tavern in Black Rock.
Wherever Farrow is performing, they invite you to come dance, cry, and feel with them.
"I think that music and art in general is supposed to evoke a feeling. You're supposed to feel something. Joy, anger, upset, whatever the feeling is, art is supposed to elicit that," Farrow said. "I've had people walk away crying, I've had people walk away laughing, they feel something. and that's really my goal is that you walk away feeling something."
For a full list of Farrow's upcoming performances, click here.