Take A Deep Dive Into Our Family Values Compilation

A project of connection and a welcome distraction in a tumultuous year, Wollongong based record label Farmer & The Owl have spent the last few months piecing together the ‘Family Values’ compilation. Today, this beauty is released into the world.
 
The 17 track long, double LP comprises of a collection of cover tracks, unreleased tracks (including a debut release), live recordings & remixes from the F&O label family and close friends by association. ‘Family Values’ was inspired by some of the remarkable record labels around the globe and the communities that they’ve built around them, and is a perfect showcase of the community that surrounds Farmer & The Owl.
 
‘Family Values’ is a voyage, an exploration through genres, and it kicks off with The Pinheads garage-rock infused cover of Elvis Costello’s track ‘Pump It Up’, then moves onto the dreamy electro-pop debut ‘Anymore’, from Austinmer based Tired Girl. Returning back into charged up alt-rock goodness for a few tracks, Horror My Friend share ‘False God’, an unreleased b-side from their debut album sessions, and Step Panther come with the goods on ‘Bike Lock’, the latest single from the Wollongong based trio.

Hockey Dad were the first signing to Farmer & The Owl back in 2015, so they make an appearance of course, with their cover of You Am I’s song ‘Purple Sneakers’, a cover that only super-fans of the Windang duo may have heard floating around the traps before. Adelaide based four-piece Paradise Club, offer ‘I Guess It’s Okay’, a shimmering slice of indie-pop from their self-titled debut album, and the perfect introduction to the band if you’re yet to cross their path.
 
The compilation ebbs into the smooth, sultry hip hop track ‘Fuck With Me’ from Angelo The Poet, a Wollongong based local who has teamed up with Kid Pharaoh & Boomchild on production duties. Then it delves further into an electronic dreamland with another Wollongong local, Moonbase, who shares an unreleased instrumental track ‘Sentient Again’, and has long been a friend of the label and an important staple in the local scene.

‘Family Values’ then takes its most ferocious and unexpected turn yet, with a live version of ‘33’ from party-hardcore favourites ‘Totally Unicorn’. The track, which featured on their second album, perfectly encapsulates the intense energy of a live show from the Sydney four-piece, something they are renowned for. Keeping the high energy going, Bad//Dreems show up with their intense and electrifying cover of ‘My Pal’ by GOD, which has long been an iconic staple of their live show.
 
Next, the intense energy is brought down to a simmer, though still ever present, with Vundabar’s track ‘Burned Off’. The instantaneous hit of bright, guitar driven, indie-rock features on the Boston duo’s recent album ‘Either Light’, which was released via F&O in Australia, marking the band as their first international signing and extending the label community to the furthest corners of the globe.

Obscura Hail then makes a welcome appearance, with unreleased track ‘Sin’, an addictive, bass driven punk track, that is described by songwriter Sean as “just another track thrown together hastily, made from old loops of me attempting to recreate 'We Are Sex Bob-Omb' by Sex Bob-omb (Scott Pilgram Vs The World)”, though it is so much more than that.”
 
The compilation then enters an ethereal, hypnotic state with Xavier Dunn’s remix of Bec Sandridge’s track ‘In The Fog, In The Flame’. Originally released on the vinyl version of the indie-pop artist’s EP ‘In The Fog’, the track has taken on otherworldly qualities courtesy of Xavier Dunn’s production touch.
 
Tumbleweed leads things back into the rock realm for a couple of tracks, with their cover ‘Trouble Every Day’. The Wollongong icons have previously released this track, by Frank Zappa, as a b-side, but as a band that have made an instrumental impact on the Wollongong music scene, the inclusion of it on ‘Family Values’ was essential.

Mother & Son offer their track ‘Mercury’, which takes the listener into a swampy, twangy, alt-rock state, a hard one to leave once you’ve entered. The track has only previously been released as part of their early demos collection, so devout fans of the duo will be more than please to have access to it digitally for the first time.
 
Leading things back into a more subtle, soothing state, Austinmer based band Tropical Strength share the never before heard Sting Song. An experimental, psychedelic pop oasis, it draws you in and makes you wish it went for longer than 2 minutes.
Coming in to round out the compilation, and satisfy the cravings for an enthralling, immersive house-pop experiences, TEES have shared their new track ‘Collide’. A 7-minute long track, and their first offering since their debut EP, it expands the breadth of their sound and is a taste of what’s to come.
 
And there it is folks. Farmer & The Owl’s Family Values.

‘Family Values’ was developed and curated by label co-founders Jeb Taylor & Ben Tillman, and friend of the label, Tom Gordon. When speaking about the project, Ben states, “it’s been a while since we’ve put out our last F&O curated mix tape. They’re kind of like a time capsule or little snapshot of what’s going on in Wollongong at the current time, so pretty interesting to see how the place (and sound) has grown and developed over time.”  Tom Gordon (who just so happens to feature on the compilation) adds, “within the height of a pandemic, where both playing or attending a show is so difficult, it felt really important in keeping me connected to my own musical endeavours, whilst further delving into the Wollongong music scene.”

Summarising the compilation perfectly, Jeb Taylor concludes that “putting together compilations is probably one of my favourite parts of running a label, it's like making a playlist that actually becomes a real life tangible product. For Family Values it was exciting to not only come across some of the fresh new sounds from our local area (Angelo The Poet, Tired Girl) but also dig into the archive of covers that our artists have delivered (Hockey Dad, Tumbleweed, The Pinheads and Bad//Dreems) as well as highlight new music and lost tracks from most of the F&O family of artists.”
 
Artwork for the compilation was created by local award winning artist Christopher Zanko, with design/layout by Jay Drury (The Super Trip).
 
Enjoy.

'Family Values' is out on digital platforms today. 
Listen here.


‘Family Values’ is available to pre order on vinyl now.
You can do so here if you want. 
1. The Pinheads - Pump It Up
2. Tired Girl - Anymore
3. Step Panther - Bike Lock
4. Horror My Friend - False God
5. Hockey Dad - Purple Sneakers
6. Paradise Club - I Guess it's Okay
7. Angelo The Poet - Fuck With Me
8. Moonbase - Sentient Again
9. Totally Unicorn - 33 (Live)
10. Bad//Dreems - My Pal
11. Vundabar - Burned Off
12. Obscura Hail - Sin
13. Bec Sandridge - In The Fog, In The Flame (Xavier Dunn Remix)
14. Tumbleweed - Trouble Every Day
15. Mother & Son - Mercury
16. Tropical Strength - Sting Song
17. TEES - Collide