New album Oct 24, 2024

The Sky From The Underground

Amid Divisive Times, Bay-Area Peacemakers Explore Planetary Optimism

Paul Knowles-Vocals, Guitars, B3 Organ, Piano, Keyboards | Nicole Storto-Piano, Guitar | Nigel Twist-Drums | James DePrato-Lead Guitars, Slide Guitar | Kevin T. White-Bass | Melissa Phillips DePrato-Harmony Vocals on “Have Love Will Travel” | Dave Zirbel-Pedal Steel on “Behind That Locked Door” | Adam Rossi-B3 Organ on “He Broke Your Heart”

San Francisco, CA July 2024—New Earth Farmers previous album, The Good Ones Got Away (2022) was written during the pandemic and lockdown and shortly after band leader, Paul Knowles’ father passed away from Covid. “The cover of that album portrays an astronaut in a living room/rocket ship watching TV and listening to a stereo,” said Knowles. “It was about escaping.” The new record, The Sky From The Underground depicts a cover with the astronaut observing the earth and its sky from the perspective of a nearby world, relaxing on a chair of mushrooms. “I guess it’s part two of the saga and he’s come outside of his getaway ship, has a fresh take on life and has grown a bit spiritually—More optimistic and ready for the next adventure.”

The band has the same members; Paul Knowles, Nicole Storto, Nigel Twist (The Alarm), James DePrato (Chuck Prophet), and Kevin T. White (Shelby Lynn). The album was co-produced by Knowles and Peter Craft, and mixed and recorded by Craft at his studio, Boxer Lodge in Napa, CA. (The exception: Knowles recorded and mixed “Behind That Locked Door”). There was additional recording at 1332 Recording by David Luke in Berkeley, CA. Mastering was done by Tone Def in Nashville, TN.


The band aims to avoid confining their music to a single genre. "The song drives the treatment and genre of each track," Knowles explained. “In an era where lyrics often take a back seat to style, fashion, materialism, and hipness, we prioritize lyrics. Our songs ask questions, praise empathy and love, acknowledge inequity, inequality, and tribalism, and seek peace of mind in confusing times. We've expanded our influences. While there are Americana elements on the record, we also embraced British influences like The Clash, The Who, and The Beatles.”

The Sky From The Underground has 8 original tunes and two covers; “Behind That Locked Door” by George Harrison, and “Have Love Will Travel” by Tom Petty.

"Big Questions" takes a light-hearted approach to exploring profound topics, incorporating some Beatle-influenced chord changes. “We’d had a lot of family, friends, and respected people that passed away in the last few years. Sometime’s life is a cruel joke, and we wanted to speak to whoever’s in charge with this particular song lyric. That was the first verse, then we went on to make some subtle observations about Artificial Intelligence and Authoritarianism in a light hearted and jovial tone.”

“In the Sunlight” was in part inspired by an event that Knowles shared with his father. “We don’t get out in the sunlight and dance enough these days, literally and figuratively” he states. “Most of our connections are artificial or filtered through our devices.” His father joined him in Golden Gate Park for The. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival one year. “He had come into my world to listen to music and we connected through that experience in the sunlight. He was a Southern Baptist preacher from Virginia and he was laying on the grass listening, just like a professional hippie.”

Inspired by The Clash, "War Inside Our Hearts" addresses the rampant tribalism plaguing the country and the world, and pleads for people to come together. 

 The title track, “The Sky From The Underground” is probably the most optimistic on the record. “It’s a song of escape, about getting away from all of the darkness, division, greed and negativity in the world right now towards a more peaceful, higher place. 

While addressing some pretty heavy subjects including gun violence (“Frequency”) and the exploitation of our environment (“Windfall”), the spirit of optimism is in the songs. “There is optimism,” Knowles declares. “Consider a seed. You can bury it underground, under a bit of earth, water it and it grows toward the sky. Likewise, there is optimism buried within the spirit of this batch of songs. We are trying to plant good seeds. Optimistic seeds.”

The band has several Bay-Area gigs booked, including a record release party and are hoping to get to the UK for some shows with the other guys in the original Alarm (Dave Sharp and Eddie McDonald) and their current bands.

“I’ve been at this music thing for a long time,” said Knowles. “Since I was a teenager. We really have enjoyed this ride and we’re fortunate to be able to continue, for however much longer it lasts. There’s an endless sky out there, it’s tempting to just keep going, to see what might be next.”

The Sky From The Underground releases on October 4th, 2024.

Video Premiere at Glide Magazine

Oh Mary

Their latest album The Good Ones Got Away releases on March 4th, 2023 and is their first full record as the New Earth Farmers. They were previously called New American Farmers and before that, Mars Arizona. The music on the album leans into rock and roll more than previous collections. Known for lyrics that help conjure an atmosphere, their vocal sound is also unique in that the duo will switch the lead/harmony lines multiple times during a song. “We can double track the vocals in our live shows with both of us singing the melody,” Knowles mentions. “It’s hard to tell who is doing what sometimes.”

Today Glide is premiering the video for “Oh Mary,” one of the standout tracks on the new album. The song begins with an organ intro that washes over you, it soon becomes the kind of catchy folk-rocker that would make Tom Petty smile. There is a soulfulness to this tune that might come from the organ and piano, the religious references, or some combination of both. We also get some fine guitar solos to help this tune ascend into expansive rock territory. Lyrically, it also connects to our troubled times to give it a certain level of relevant potency.


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Free track from 2021 EP