Taken from the 2-track ‘Indian Ocean’ 7″ single, out December 12th via Matinée Recordings.
The final single from Math and Physics Club is a bittersweet but fitting coda for a band that has always worn its heart on its sleeve. It’s also a posthumous tribute to guitarist and co-founder James Werle, who passed away last year after his battle with cancer.
James didn’t play on these recordings, but he is absolutely part of their fabric. That much is clear from the moment his Rickenbacker chimes the opening notes on ‘Indian Ocean’. The song was written shortly before James died, but the band never had a chance to record it. Perhaps seeking connection more than anything else, the remaining members decided to finish it in honor of their friend and bandmate. With bassist Ethan Jones stepping in to record James’ guitar part, the result is a bit of magic and an instant MAPC classic.
The flip-side, ‘In Dreams’, is a requiem of sorts, written for James in the weeks following his death. Stripped down acoustic guitar, mandolin, and layered vocals pack an emotional wallop. The lyrics are sparse and laid bare, but hopeful. The song’s spare arrangement juxtaposed with the lush guitars on Side A reveals a space left unmistakably unfilled.
Let’s be clear: As much as this single is an embrace of grief and loss, it’s also a nutshell of what Math and Physics Club does best. Economical, well-crafted, heartfelt pop. It’s a final keepsake from a band that’s been making songs like these for the better part of the past 15 years. Did you expect anything less?