The Long Farewells

About the Band

The Long Farewells blend gorgeous harmonies, classic Americana instrumentation, and “pleasingly literate songs with stories to tell” (AmericanaUK) into a timeless sound that brings to light the beauty to be found in even our darkest moments. Their music will be enjoyed by fans of artists like Cowboy Junkies, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Patty Griffin, Plains, The Civil Wars, Esther Rose, and The Decemberists.

High Water or Hell, the new EP from the Chicago band, out on Beartrap Spring Records on May 28, 2024, is the first multi-song release from the band since their 2019 debut album Only the Stars. That record, produced by the founding duo of vocalist Gabrielle Schafer and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Rester, tended toward the folkier side of the Americana genre. On High Water or Hell, though, the band (now a quintet) explores a greatly expanded sonic palette.

There are elements of classic country, like the lap steel-drenched high and lonesome harmonies of "Shade of Sad," as well as a cover of the Hank Williams classic "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" (though the latter leans much more into the anger that can bubble under the surface of loneliness than the original). "Two Crows" is a dose of swampy noir reminiscent of The Handsome Family's Southern Gothic mode, while "Just Another Song (About Love Gone Wrong)" is a toe-tapping, knee-slapping nod toward Texas swing. The jangly but morose guitar of "Bottle Was The Message" recalls 80s alternative like REM and the Smiths, with a bridge that might well be worthy of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." Finally, the title track is a high-energy, bluesy ode to New Orleans.

Throughout the EP, the original numbers highlight the lyrical acumen of Rester's songwriting, and all of the recordings showcase the haunting harmonies of Schafer and backing vocalist Kate Krajci, as well as the soaring improvisational fiddle work of Rick Veras. All of it rests on the solid foundation of Nate Lindsey's bass and Rester's guitars.


Booked Venues Include:

Praise for the Long Farewells

“The songs and recordings are fabulous.” - Murry Hammond of The Old 97’s
“A fine album with lyrics to pique your interest and imagination... pleasingly literate songs with stories to tell.” - AmericanaUK
"Amazing." - Chicago Acoustic Underground
"['Johnny Went off to War'] is a historically-inspired (although it could be about any war at any time, the mark of a true folk song) folk song with a tragic ending. The arrangement is spartan but effective, and the female vocals are strong." - Independent Clauses
"Proper old-fashioned folk... they're trying to keep something alive, and I think they're doing it well." - You Haven't Heard This Music Podcast


Select a thumbnail below to download a hi-resolution image.

The Long Farewells The Long Farewells The Long Farewells The Long Farewells The Long Farewells, sitting, black and white The Long Farewells, standing, sepia If It Ain't Christmas cover art: in the foreground a hand holding a shotglass of whiskey, with blurry Christmas trees in the background Only the Stars cover art: graphic image of train

Previous Shows

You can find a list of previous shows on Songkick.