Farewell J.R. began life as the solo project of British songwriter Nick Rayner. He decamped to his hometown in Cambridge during 2012 for what he regarded as “some much needed time to be alone” and subsequently began writing music. The songs he wrote during this period evoked the early emotive sound of Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver, but they grew to be something much more ambitious. Rayner had recorded a handful of stripped-back, acoustic folk tracks before he added Sam McNicholl (drums, percussion), Josh Sampson (drums, percussion), and Sonny Sampson (bass) to complete the lineup.
This allowed Rayner to expand his sound with cinematic soundscapes and grand melodies that were reminiscent of Arcade Fire and the National, while still harnessing the fragile refrain the songs originally encompassed in their raw form. In early 2013 the single “A Thought, A Mind” was featured on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 segment Next Hype. The soaring strings that completed the outfit’s immersive sound were recorded on the other side of the globe in Australia and provided the atmospheric orchestration that characterized this debut single.
Farewell J.R. is available for corporate events, private shows, milestone celebrations (birthday, anniversary), fundraisers, festivals, and more.