CLEVELAND, Ohio – A dystopian science-fiction world becomes a storytelling tool in Cleveland singer-songwriter Michael McFarland’s new electronic rock project, Hello Headrush.
McFarland dreamed up a new universe where humans and androids struggle with their identities. In his storyline, the android characters become aware of their robotic states, previously thinking they were humans.
Though the story was created in McFarland’s imagination, the inspiration came from what he saw in the world around him, he said.
“The world of Hello Headrush grew from thinking about how people treat those they consider ‘the other,’ and how that kind of xenophobia can’t exist without identification and labelling of those who are different,” McFarland said. “The idea of half the population of earth being unaware that they themselves weren’t human was foundational.”
Characters in the Hello Headrush universe include Attis, Lazarus and Mithras. McFarland performs as Attis, who is an android that grew up thinking it was human.
And though Hello Headrush is a one-man band, you’ll see three performers onstage at a concert. At a Hello Headrush live show, McFarland uses pre-recorded projections of himself to create the other two characters on guitar and bass.
Prior to Hello Headrush, McFarland released music under his own name. He put out two full-length albums, 2011’s “Waking Up Is a Letdown” and 2018’s “House of Ghosts,” and a series of singles. McFarland is a regular performer at local open mic nights.
(He’s also a board game creator and the owner of a small board game company, Spontaneously Combustible Games.)
When it came to making new music, McFarland decided he wanted to create something wholly different from his previous creative work.
“I started Hello Headrush as an outlet for a less autobiographical and more narrative approach to songwriting than in the music I’ve released as Michael McFarland,” he said. “Creating Hello Headrush allowed me to explore those new creative approaches and outlets without having to shoehorn my existing material in alongside it.”
Today, McFarland is releasing his first-ever Hello Headrush single, “Second Life,” on cleveland.com. You can listen to the song below.
McFarland is planning to release a Hello Headrush six-song EP, “Humanity*,” this spring. You can see Hello Headrush perform next on Feb. 2 at The Empire Concert Club in Akron, along with The Scenic Route, Land of Panda and Shelby Olive.
For more stories about the Cleveland music scene, past and present, sign up for our weekly local music newsletter, “Listen Up Cleveland.”
- Steve Aoki's New Song With BTS Is Everything Fans Were Waiting For
- Haim Is Finally Back With a New Song and Visual Proof They’ve Been Working Hard
- Alicia Keys' New Song "Underdog" Is the Power Anthem You'll Play on Repeat
- Justin and Hailey Bieber pucker up for honeymoon selfie... after he joins TikTok and teases new song
- A month on, new songs and poems keep anti-CAA protests in Assam kicking
- Monty Python to Release Five New Songs this Summer
- Author Gennadii Ternovskii's Gripping Military Novel Tells the True Story Behind the Bravery of the Crimson Beret
- Firefly's Summer Glau Talks New Sci-Fi Project Alternis
- Disintegration: Everything we know about the new sci-fi shooter
- Watch Against Me!’s Glammy, Sci-Fi-Themed ‘Crash’ Video