Music / Features
They Made Me Do It -
Talking Influences with FERLA
Words by Francis Tait
Wednesday 29th August, 2018

FERLA are back with another serving of their signature synth-coated jangly pop, and to celebrate we got inside the head (and heart, I suppose) of the man behind the name, Giuliano Ferla, to delve deeper into what inspired ‘The Human Heart’.
Back with their first single since releasing Guilt Pop/Stay Posi, FERLA's latest effort is everything you’d expect from the "after-dark pop" band, executed with the highest of precision. Aurally, ‘The Human Heart’ is vintage FERLA - combining sparkling guitars, Giuliano Ferla’s evocative vocals and synth applied like a coat of varnish. As for the subject matter, FERLA are continuing to be ambitious, this time looking to encapsulate the birth and death of a relationship with enough time for all the bits in between within a 3-and-a-half-minute run time. The end result is the sort of “upbeat sad-banger” that could find itself just as emotionally resonating at any point of a relationship as it would in the back room of a share-house this weekend.

To get an insight into what sort of music would make you want to attempt such a feat, we got in touch with Giuliano Ferla to get inside who and what inspired their new jangly pop banger and that sweet signature FERLA sound.
'Freedom '90' - George Michael
I work part-time as a labourer with a guy called Des. Des is a Hungarian migrant in his 50s and his benchmark for all that is good in the world is George Michael. Sometimes I ask him what he thinks of my work;
“Des, what do you think of my plastering here?”
In his thick Hungarian accent, “Is OK, but is not George Michael.”

George is a master of positive pop and we all need some positivity in our lives. While there’s room and space for all the sad things in the world, I think it’s worthwhile being reminded that it’s not all dismal. Music has the ability to bring people together, whether it’s over heartbreak or as a call to action against injustice or any other number of things. Music is an antidote to loneliness and solipsism because it reminds us that at our most fundamental levels we are not alone. Our sames are bigger than our differences. This song’s about empowerment and an embrace of unrelenting personal freedom and individuality. It’s about self-love and self-acceptance. It’s also a solid gold banger.

'What's Not Mine' - Cate Le Bon
Can’t go past it. Weird pop. Nods to McCartney bass lines. Non-sensical lyricism. Crab Day is one of my desert island discs.

'Girls on the TV' - Laura Jean
Absolute favourite this year. A testament to the power of story and song, I cried when I first heard it. How magical is it that something 6 minutes long and 100-words-or-less can move someone to tears, or to elation? I believe it’s because we understand. We have the capacity for compassion. We know what it’s like to be a teenager, we know what it’s like to have our trust betrayed by someone in authority, we know what it’s like when truths are revealed about people we thought we understood. We know what it’s like to be a human being. And art is about what it’s like to be a human being.

I saw Laura Jean play at Howler the other week and it was an experience. What an artist.

'Push the Sky Away' - Nick Cave
Nick Cave is a living lesson in what it is to be a career artist. To follow your own path. To turn 50 and pick up a guitar and sing songs about not get any pussy. To work hard, to continue to work. Like anyone, I sometimes get demoralised. I sometimes lose faith in myself. The thing that keeps me going is commitment to music and to art, and to the immense benefit that art and artists provide to humanity. It’s a commitment to something larger than myself, but the ego is a sly dog. Sometimes still I get caught up in what I think I ‘should’ be doing, and sometimes I need a little push.

“And if your friends think that you should do it different
And if they think that you should do it the same
You’ve gotta just keep on pushing
Push the sky away
Check out FERLA's latest single 'The Human Heart' above, and catch them launching the single on Friday, September 14th, at the Grace Darling Hotel.