Unique DIY (do-it-yourself) music, Ferns is a Malaysian indie-pop band that many don’t know about.
Being a rather multiracial group, Ferns initially consisted of 5 members: keyboardist/vocalist Abby, bassist Adrian, guitarist Johan, vocalist/guitarist Warren, and drummer Rudy.
The group made their first debut in 2007 with an album titled ‘On Botany’. The album contained 10 songs and at the time of release, caught the attention of both local and foreign press. In an interview which was conducted with vocalist Warren, the songs were supposed to be a mashup between psych-folk pop and shoegaze (dream pop music).
However, after its release, fans decided the album had a more twee/indie-pop genre. Nevertheless, their debut was a success, so much so that in 2006, they even got featured on being one of Rolling Stone’s Top 25 Bands on Myspace.
Playing in live shows and bars alike in both Malaysia and Singapore, after the album-release, the group announced that they were going to take a four-year hiatus to focus on their personal lives.
Then, four years later, in December 2011, they made a comeback with their second album entitled ‘Fairweather Friends’. This album, like the first, also had 10 songs, but it focused on a more indie-pop vibe. The self-produced album, which was initially only supposed to be an EP, was said to have taken over three years to create. According to Warren, the group couldn’t seem to stop writing which is how one song became an entire album.
However, after their second album, Ferns went radio silent for almost a decade. Until May this year (2020), when they released an EP coupled with a new music video. Titled ‘Navelgazing’, via their Facebook page, this is what they had to say about their new music:
“The EP is informed by the sometimes-futile desire to find fulfillment in life through the escapism of travel. Think of it as a “passport to heartbreak and holiday fatigue” – an idealized place in our minds where chiming guitars, dreamy synths, and boy-girl harmonies evoke the buoyant highs and forlorn lows that accompany vacation endeavors.
Recorded before the global Covid-19 pandemic brought cross-border travel to a screeching halt, the record also now benefits from an unintentional sense of poignancy in view of a lost privilege some may have taken for granted.
We hope you find our new set of music to be equal parts beautiful, funny and sad.”