Set for release September 14th, Fatherson’s third studio album Sum of All Your Parts will be unleashed on the same day as The Slow Readers Club’s new EP. So if you like your tunes profound, dark and brooding, complete with towering choruses. This coming Friday is your Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a stark difference in sound between the two bands. However, there are a lot of parallels. Fatherson have taken the same route of self-releasing in order to gain label attention. Albeit, that path is increasingly walked in today’s industry. Both have picked up a loyal, devoted fan base, packed out venues and been lauded by radio DJ kingmakers. But somehow, national and internal recognition on a grand scale had overlooked them. Slow Readers found out with Build A Tower that hard graft, perseverance and great, honest songwriting pays off. Likewise, Sum of All Your Parts sees a change of gear for Fatherson. One I predict that will move them firmly into the fast lane.
Changing gears is something this album does frequently. Bringing in producer Claudius Mittendorfer (Arctic Monkeys, Ash, Interpol, Weezer), the album was recorded as you hear it, live and in chronological order, capturing the essence of their electrifying live shows. Right from the fragile piano motif that opens this record, Sum of All Your Parts is a record that wears its heart on its sleeve. Lyrically, vocalist Ross Leighton said of the record:
“I think this is the first attempt at being a bit more specific, lyrically. I was listening to a lot of Frank Ocean, who’s very specific with his lyrics, even though it’s very ambiguous. You might never know what it actually meant, but you can extrapolate something that’s a bit more personal. It’s less of a generalisation on the whole – it’s like, ‘I feel like this about this, and you can understand it or you can not”
Kicking off with The Rain a looping piano builds like a storm that breaks with thunderous bass and the heavy splash of cymbals. While Making Waves and Gratitude bring a more straight up alt-rock sound, complete with resplendent choruses that leave you in little doubt why Fatherson are a huge live draw.
Nothing To No One broods darkly. However, guest vocals from Bryde’s Sarah Howell push the sound into a new space. The shining ballad Oh Yes is both sincere and heartfelt with an eddy of reverb heavy guitar that sweeps you to beautiful climax. While Reflections examines love-over-the phone awkwardness with a raw candor that’s instantly relatable. Two qualities that run through this record like a stick of Blackpool Rock
Whether it’s this new approach Leighton has taken to songwriting, or the manner in which Fatherson and Mittendorfer have taken to recording this album. It could however just be them developing as a band. Whatever it is, has certainly clicked. The sound is quintessentially Fatherson, but it’s also the sound of a band taking a great leap forward. A leap that will see them go from packing out festival tents, to main stage glory.