RETURN WITH NEW SINGLE:
+ UK DATES THIS MAY / JUNE
OUT 1ST APRIL – VIA EASY LIFE RECORDS
Credit: Stewart Bryden
Glaswegian three-piece FATHERSON have shared a new single titled “Better Friend”, taken from their upcoming album: ‘Normal Fears’ (out 1 April).
The new track arrives as the band also confirm *new* and rescheduled shows for May / June 2022 – full details are listed below.
The track is the fifth song to be shared from their first album in over three years, “Normal Fears”, which sees the band return, but not as you know them. The album is a lush lesson in letting go. Gorgeous, groove-led singalongs steeped in electronics find the band in a playful mode, putting break-ups, old ways of working and everyday worries behind them to start afresh, sunny side up.
June 11th – Stoke On Trent, The Sugarmill
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The follow-up to 2018’s “Sum Of All Your Parts”, “Normal Fears” was largely written remotely, with Ross in his native Kilmarnock and bassist Marc Strain and drummer Greg Walkinshaw in Glasgow.
“Our aim was to drop our guard,” says Ross. “Forget what we thought we knew about making music and just have fun. It was less about searching for a sound than trying out new ways of working. We were open to anything.”
“Normal Fears” got underway a few weeks pre-pandemic but took flight with the first lockdown. Stuck at home, Fatherson embraced the new normal and the fresh possibilities it posed.
“Luckily, lockdown was ideal for this album,” says Ross. “The separation gave us clarity. We’d send song parts to each other then each go away and work on them, trying out mad ideas we might not have suggested had we all been together.
“There was no pressure because no one knew when the world would open up again. We had the time to be creative and recapture the feeling we had when we first became a band, when there were no expectations of how Fatherson should sound.”
To help shake up their sound, the trio invited a cast of friends to contribute. Ross’s first remote writing session was with Danny Morgan-Ball. The plan was just to jam. But after a natter, the pair wrote two songs in under two hours – one of which was the album’s lead single “End Of The World”. The other was the widescreen “Love For Air”, on which sinuous melodies capture the rush of falling in love and a choir-backed chorus recalls Songs From The Big Chair-era Tears For Fears.
Ross wrote “Normal People” with Rich Turvey (Blossoms, Courteeners), inspired by both watching the TV series of the same name and Ross’s new relationship. “The Feeling and The Sound” is sun-soaked pop which sums up the redemptive nature of “Normal Fears” and was co-written with Seton Daunt (Kylie, Amy MacDonald). The shimmering “Dive” was inspired by Haim, features Amber Run’s Joe Koegh on backing vocals and nods to Radiohead in its middle eight.
When lockdown lifted in early summer, Fatherson returned to their Glasgow studio and, in October, the band decamped to RAK studios in London with producer Steph Marziano (Hayley Williams, Denai Moore, Mumford & Sons) and engineer Isabelle Gracefield (Dua Lipa, Stormzy), where “Normal Fears” took yet another twist. Rather than record everything live, as Fatherson previously had, songs were torn apart and reassembled, pianos fed through cassette players and ping pong balls introduced.
“We put 30 ping pong balls inside a snare drum and shook them around to get a sample for Honest To God,” says Greg, “Other times we bounced them off walls.
“There’s the sound of a dropped sandbag in there and a sample of a river in Kilmarnock which I had recorded as a wee nod to home. We added found sounds from the street, including a couple having an argument. The synth at the start of Love For Air is the song played back into a toy keyboard.”
Ross played the studio’s precious acoustic guitar which was used on Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees and is kept under lock and key. Drunk on cocktails one night, everyone took turns to whistle on the groovy 365, which features more ping pong balls in its middle eight.