Music is more than just a pleasing mix of sounds; a good song can be both therapeutic and inspiring. Few know this better than stressed-out college students.
The members of the band Farewell Republic, four University of Michigan students, use the stresses of college life as their inspiration to make music.

‘It’s really like, when you’re playing music, you’re completely giving up control in a sense,” bassist Ryan Sloan said. ‘It’s a very rewarding feeling especially when you’re a college student and your life is generally the opposite of that.”

From the sound of it, the students here at UR may receive a similarly rewarding feeling by spending a night enjoying the music of Farewell Republic.

Farewell Republic kicks off its tour on Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Boulder Coffee Company on Alexander Street in Rochester. The show starts at 8 p.m., and admission is free.

Farewell Republic’s members are all juniors at Michigan, each with a passion for music. Sivan Jacobovitz, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, and Brian Trahan, the keyboardist and backup vocalist, are both performing arts technology majors. The band’s drummer, Bobby Matson, has a background in jazz. Bassist Sloan had ambitions of starting a band going into college.

The group formed when Sloan and Jacobovitz met at Michigan and ‘jammed” together. From there, after a rocky start in finding the right drummer, Matson joined the band. Trahan is the most recent member, having joined only about two months ago. The name Farewell Republic was chosen because ‘it evokes a certain feeling that fits with the music.”

The band recently recorded its debut EP ‘Bridges” with the help of Grammy-winning album engineer and producer Gus Oberg (Albert Hammond Jr., Ryan Adams, Brazilian Girls). ‘Bridges” features a wide array of musical genres, at times edging toward jazz and ambient moods and at others returning to a strong indie rock sound. Sloan describes Farewell Republic’s music as ‘intricate,” ‘streamlined” and ‘accessible.”
Music making is a collaborative process for this band.

‘We all add our own twist to the song,” Sloan said, describing the development of songs as the ‘practice and jamming over certain ideas.”

Sloan says of the newest member of Farewell Republic, ‘Something that [Jacobovitz] is really good at is producing the songs, essentially taking the good parts of the songs and making them really good and taking the less good parts and getting rid of them. So he’s definitely been a huge addition to the band in that sense.”

Farewell Republic has had its fair share of challenges. The loss of their initial keyboardist and the knowledge that Sloan would be graduating a year early left the band in turmoil. Sloan explains that questions arose, such as ‘are we going to break up?” and ‘are we going to get through this?”

He credits the band’s strong drive and logical perspective for getting through that difficult time.

‘At the end of the day, just took a step back and we said, “We’re only juniors in college. We’re young; if we have to slow down for a bit, not play shows, it’s gonna be OK,” Sloan said.

The band places a lot of emphasis on its live performances, labeling many of their songs as ‘dancey.” Sloan explained that his favorite song to perform is called ‘Rust.” ‘It’s really fun to play,” he said. Farwell Republic has played at some exciting music venues, most notably ‘The Black Cat” in Washington, D.C., at which one of their performances was sold out.

Fans of the band, or anyone looking for a preview of their music before Feb. 21, can check out Farewell Republic at Sloan also adds that ‘We have the fortune of being one of the bands selected to be on this new Web site that allows fans to buy stock in us to support us. In return they get certain perks. That Web site is”
‘We’re excited to play in Rochester,” Sloan said. ‘It’s going to be a fun show. We love performing live. I think that’s the strongest element of our band.”
This excitement, paired with an excellent EP and the promise of a fun performance, indicates that this show will be one that you will not want to miss.

Gaylo is a member of
the class of 2012.

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