Favours is a Toronto based band known for doing things their own way. Parth Jain, Alexander Zen, Jacqueline Andrade, and Dan Bothen layer their songs “with vintage synthesizers and wispy guitar melodies to create melancholic jams” that fans can’t seem to get enough of. I got the chance to talk with Parth about why they named the band Favours, the story behind their new single, “Stowaway”, their love for the My Favorite Murder podcast and so much more. Keep reading to see what they had to say!
For those who may not have heard of Y’all, can you give us a brief history of the band and how you guys came together?
We got together after a bit of hiatus from music. We played in other bands and were looking for a change of style and scene and Favours came [together] as a result of that.
I’m totally intrigued by the name Favours. Where does it come from?
Well, in this DIY no-money musician game that we play in, we call [in] many favours from friends, family, and fans. Also with our background in video production and direction, the kindest people are always helping us out with gear and help with our videos. And of course, we had to use the Canadian spelling of the word.
We all love Toronto. Both Jacq and Alex grew up in the city and Dan and myself (Parth) are from Hamilton. Since its such a music city and so multicultural, it had a big effect on getting us all together. Lyrically some of the songs are based on stories that happened in the city, but not specific to any Toronto landmarks.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. So how would you describe your sound without using genre names? What kind of music do you produce?
[laughs] That’s a tricky one! With our sound, we are trying to invoke feelings of nostalgia as well as those of moving on from haunted pasts. We layer our songs with vintage synthesizers and wispy guitar melodies to create melancholic jams. Our new single “Stowaway” is a great example of that!
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
We love British alt-rock from the 1960s all the way to modern day. From The Beatles to Depeche Mode to Cigarettes After Sex. Some other bands we really love are Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Rhye, and BRONCHO.
Tell me about your latest single, “Stowaway.” What’s the story behind the song?
The song is about a love affair and the lyrics urge the listener to move past tired narratives and into a blissful escape. “Stowaway” was written during a road trip from the gloomy cold Canadian climate while driving south to the enchanted Muscle Shoals. The lyrics and music mirror the longing for something better during the ebb and flow of a relationship – the urge to escape and live only in the sunny moments.
What was your writing process like for this song? Do you guys like to keep the writing in-house or do you like to collaborate with others?
Our songs usually come about with Alex bringing forward a melody and the band as a whole workshopping the structure and adding flourishes and new parts over top. With “Stowaway,” we had additional help from the amazing Josh Korody who helped produce our first collection of music. We enjoyed it so much we’re about to head into the studio for round 2 to complete our first album/EP.
What was the recording process like? Were there any major changes made to the song once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
We were really excited to work with Josh Korody (Dilly Dally, Weaves) on our first selection of songs. We went into the studio with about 6-7 songs and ended up recording 4 of our favourites. With “Stowaway,” one major change was made during the last day of recording. Josh helped curate the call and response vocal pattern during the verse – which gives the sense of a conversation – which really resonates with the themes of the song.
You guys also filmed a music video for “Stowaway.” Where did the concept come from and how does it connect to the story of the song?
A lot came together during the production of “Stowaway.” The song has a melancholic, dreamy feel to it and it just so happened to rain during the entire shoot! We weren’t so happy at the time, but the scenes really ended up mirroring themes in the song. The concept started out as an homage to the movie Blow-Up, with the transparent sheets, and as an opportunity to showcase the members of the band. The vintage fashion and Mercedes were meant to set the scenes in a past life.
You guys are still new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks you aim to reach in the next couple of years?
We are most looking forward to touring Europe with some bands that we really admire. We would kill to tour with Wild Nothing or The Marias or TAME IMPALA; the list goes on.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd, so what is something you all nerd out about?
Oh, we are all nerds as well. When we go on long drives as a band we always put on the My Favorite Murder podcast. Never gets old, until you’re at home shaking under the sheets.