If you haven’t heard of Favor, get ready for your world to be rocked. This dynamic trio from Austin, Texas are more than prepared to become the next alt superstars and the proof lies in their meaningful new single “Ruby Run,” out tomorrow. The track sees members Jimmy Mercado, Evan Campbell, and Lo Gomez pushing their sonic boundaries and making authentic indie rock that still manages to feel new and refreshing, all while helping listeners feel less alone in what they’re going through.
“‘Ruby Run’ means a lot of things to me personally,” Jimmy tells TREMG. “Generally though, I think that the song is talking about the inner demons and battles that people face with on a daily basis, and how finding help can feel impossible at times. With the happy pop-like music over the rather dark lyrics, this represents how people appear fine on the outside but struggling deep down.”
“Ruby Run” is the perfect appetizer for Favor’s upcoming Sandbox album, due May 27th. The band started working on the record in 2019… yup, 2019. Now, a pandemic and an incredible amount of artistic growth later, they’re ready to let this 13-song collection out into the world and into the hearts of fans everywhere.
“It was fun to return to the old projects,” Evan shares. “ A lot of them (minus ‘Paper or Plastic?’ + ‘Pablo’) were old favorites that we had been playing live throughout 2019, and we got to refine them in the studio. We used to play ‘Ruby Run’ in 2020 before it had any lyrics. ‘Euphoria’ was one of the oldest songs on the album, and went through a long transformation period. We had never played it live. It started out as a Stevie Wonder type vibe, but eventually we made it a bit more our own and pushed it to the limits with the vocal layering and extra synths.”
Speaking of the sonic boundaries they push, Favor intertwines decades of musical influences to curate their unique sound. It’s an inspirational palette that’s perhaps as divergent and vivid as their own music, and we know their music will be as inspiring to new artists as that of the legends that have impacted them.
Lo explains, “Some of our influences have been bands like Thee Oh Sees, Naked Giants, and The Police. The more synthy moments in the record have been inspired by 80s movie soundtracks such as Blade Runner and other synthwave artists, like Kavinsky and Home. The best thing is having everyone’s influences come together to make something that is a product of all our creative minds working in tandem.”
If you love “Ruby Run” as much as we do, be sure to connect with Favor on Instagram and TikTok, as well as pre-save Sandbox right here! Keep reading for more from our interview with the hard-working group.
Congrats on your new single, “Ruby Run!” How does it feel to let the song out into the world?
Evan: It’s awesome! We’ve been anticipating the release of new music for ages (literally almost 2 years), and it’s very fresh. “Ruby Run” is a super fun song, hopefully people will enjoy it quite a bit. If anything, it could be characterized as our most accessible to date.
What does the song “Ruby Run” mean to you?
Jimmy: “Ruby Run” means a lot of things to me personally. Generally though, I think that the song is talking about the inner demons and battles that people face with on a daily basis, and how finding help can feel impossible at times. With the happy pop-like music over the rather dark lyrics, this represents how people appear fine on the outside but struggling deep down.
Is there a certain lyric on “Ruby Run” that you’re particularly proud of?
Evan: I really love the line “variation is overrated; why try and change yourself, it’s so complicated?” The line contradicts itself by saying variation is unnecessary, but it’s different from the first verse, so it still manages to be unique.
You’ll be releasing your new album, Sandbox, on May 27th. Which song are you most excited for fans to hear?
Jimmy: The songs I’m most excited for people to hear are “Euphoria,” “Paper or Plastic?,” “This Sunset,” and “Pablo I, II, & III.” All of these songs showcase new sides of us that no one has ever heard before, and I think that people will be pleasantly surprised by what we have in store! Regardless, I believe that there is at least one song for everyone on this record. That’s what makes this album so magical to us.
You started working on Sandbox in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the world turned upside down. When you went back to rework the project, what was it like to revisit the songs you made so long ago?
Evan: It was fun to return to the old projects. A lot of them (minus “Paper or Plastic?” + “Pablo”) were old favorites that we had been playing live throughout 2019, and we got to refine them in the studio. We used to play “Ruby Run” in 2020 before it had any lyrics. “Euphoria” was one of the oldest songs on the album, and went through a long transformation period. We had never played it live. It started out as a Stevie Wonder type vibe, but eventually we made it a bit more our own and pushed it to the limits with the vocal layering and extra synths.
You started the band in 2018, and Favor had its earliest beginnings as a duo between Jimmy and Evan before Lo joined. How do you feel you’ve grown as artists since then?
Jimmy: Every aspect of the band has grown since then, really. Our songwriting abilities, recording techniques, and live performance have grown so much since we first started. Our first album, Sounds from the Sand, was mostly written before Lo joined the band, so there was only a few jams that we were able to write as a true trio. On this new record though, we were finally able to come together and fully flesh out (almost) every song idea together. I feel that this record truly represents what “Favor” sounds like.
Favor music has a really fun retro vibe, drawing from the 80s while still giving us something new and fresh. Who are some influences on your sound?
Lo: Some of our influences have been bands like Thee Oh Sees, Naked Giants, and The Police. The more synthy moments in the record have been inspired by 80s movie soundtracks such as Blade Runner and other synthwave artists, like Kavinsky and Home. The best thing is having everyone’s influences come together to make something that is a product of all our creative minds working in tandem. The product is always something we feel is a grand total that showcases our influences and style.
If it weren’t for COVID-19, what would your dream album release cycle/promotions look like?
Lo: Before the pandemic hit, we were looking at releasing the album the same year as Sounds from the Sand. We would’ve also looked into playing more shows and creative design during that time. I think all the extra time that it took us to finish the album definitely contributed to a tighter end product and we figured out how to promote in a more professional way, too. Although the pandemic did put a hold on our plans and promotions, it definitely helped us figure out how to do those things more efficiently than before.
We at TREMG love getting to know new artists who haven’t gotten the success or attention they deserve. Who are some of your favorite underrated artists at the moment?
Evan: We’ve really been digging Sad Cell at the moment. It’s one of the bands of this dude named Dewey Ivy, and he’s in a ton of bands in the Austin area. Very cool stuff indeed. I myself listen to a lot of Altin Gün and Thundercat. Jimmy likes Elita, Being Dead (another sick ATX band), and King Gizzard of course. Lo’s always listening to something cool; Sungazer, Royal Coda, Molchat Doma? Wild.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention that the questions didn’t touch on?
Jimmy: One thing that I’d like to mention is that we record, produce, and mix our albums independently at our home studios. The ability to have full control over what a song/album can sound like is a freedom like no other, but that freedom can also drive you mad at times. Thankfully we all have experience with recording and mixing songs, so everyone gets a hand in what each song sounds like. We are also able to go to each other for help and guidance whenever a song comes to a halt, or when we aren’t happy with how something is sounding. With each project we are constantly looking to improve our skills and make sure that every album sounds better and better over time.