When we interviewed FATHERSON way back in July (when the heatwaves were constant, festival season hadn’t broken us, etc.) they joked that their plan was to “basically just stay on the road forever,” but when we hear latest record SUM OF ALL YOUR PARTS we can be thankful that it was only a joke.
The melodic, piano-based intro almost scuppers you into thinking ‘oh, God! What are Fatherson playing at?!’ but it isn’t long before we hear the sound we have grown to love via I Am An Island and Open Book. Frontman Ross Leighton explains: “There’s an element of not being allowed to be too big for your boots,” and this is demonstrated beautifully across SOAYP. There is a sense of Fatherson staying ‘real’ and the raspy, Scottish accent that has been consistent through the band’s development adds depth to the stunning instrumentation. Perhaps it is the fear factor of “your ego will get pummelled out of you as soon as you get home, and that’s good grounding” that keeps Leighton and co. grounded, but whatever it is, is definitely beneficial for fans.
All inhibitions are lost as the record progresses; in Ghost we are exposed to harmonies tying together bold bursts of face-melting hooks, in Oh Yes a tear-jerking, ITV prime-time-drama-soundtrack-esque ballad is formed and in the record’s highlight Reflection, it does just that. The piano is brought back and solitude is rediscovered via accelerating drums and a warming soundscape. It would suit a disco-ball, everyone swaying, the band just losing it on stage and then everything slows down as the spotlight dims. There are so many opportunities for emotional visuals with Sum Of All Your Parts, as there always is with Fatherson, to be honest, but don’t let that make you think you’ll need to be in a morose state to enjoy this LP.
Charm School brings the edgy vibe back in grand fashion; sharp guitar hooks and almost punk drum fills are present throughout and they come together to create a typically rocky penultimate track. On the whole, SOAYP is an accumulation of the emotional, the bold and the experimental, but most importantly Fatherson have discovered a new dimension to their sound without straying too far from their unique blend of indie, pop and rock.