You won’t hear any love songs in Savoir Faire’s corner of the cocktail lounge. Boston artist Sarah Fard prefers to seduce her listeners’ minds, serving them new perspectives atop melodies smooth as a whiskey sour. With her solo project Savoir Faire, Fard constructs plush headspaces for audiences to grapple with the most pressing issues of our time. Interweaving dramatic 60s noir, pointed 90s rock, classic elements of jazz, Fard’s guitar-driven music envelops listeners in nostalgia, taking a sonic step backwards to push society forwards. Her razor-sharp lyricism cuts to the insidious core of issues like misogynistic language, America’s aching and under-appreciated workforce, and reproductive rights. Delivered with her syrupy vocals, Fard’s messages will entice your attention, time and time again — right before they demand a better future.
Many artists issue similar rallying cries, but few package their calls to action with such acute elegance. Like a well-worn scrapbook, Fard’s decadent musicianship layers snapshots of her own musical evolution: Middle Eastern scales and melismas informed by her Persian heritage, vocal tones and chord progressions culled from nights performing jazz standards, and the pluck of trailblazing women songwriters who defined 1990s popular music. Her identity as guitarist first and a vocalist second makes room for a generation of women instrumentalists she didn’t see as a girl studying electric guitar, a prime example of Fard’s artistry honoring the past while simultaneously reckoning with it.
Fard often refines her visions for a more equitable future in high school and college classrooms, where she works alongside students of all abilities and backgrounds. Her 15 years as a music educator at public schools — and more recently, at Bard College’s Longy School of Music — have brought her into the heart of different communities, where she witnesses many of the issues in her songwriting first-hand.
The distinct flair of Savoir Faire peaks on Fard's new record Hopeless Nostalgic, a cinematic swirl of genres and eras crafted with producer Dave Brophy. Due out in late 2023, Savoir Faire’s debut studio album speaks eloquently and unabashedly in the face of inequality. In a phrase, it’s classic Savoir Faire. -Victoria Wasylak