Math and Physics Club - Indian Ocean

matinée 102  /  December 2019
Math and Physics Club - Indian Ocean
7"   $6.00

digital   $2.00

other digital:   Apple Music     Amazon     Spotify

Math and Physics Club - Indian Ocean

matinée 102  /  December 2019

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?

Limited to 500 copies on 7-inch black vinyl with cover art by Olympia artist Jimmy Ulvenes.

Tracklisting:
  1. Indian Ocean (The End of Everything)
  2. In Dreams

reviews

When guitarist James Werle tragically passed away from cancer in September 2018, his bandmates in Math and Physics Club retreated from the music world to grieve. But thankfully, music has brought them back together for one final release as a band—the "Indian Ocean (The End of Everything)" / "In Dreams" 7" single via their longtime label Matinée Recordings as a tribute to Werle. Though Werle didn't technically perform on "Indian Ocean (The End of Everything)," his presence is undeniable. This final 7" single is a beautiful reminder of the melodic, heartfelt music that Math and Physics Club have brought to listeners over the past 15 years. --KEXP

We all want our favorite bands to go on forever, dropping nuggets into our laps from time to time. We want it as music fans, and we want the stability and comfort as humans. But, of course, things rarely work out as we like. We have been following Seattle-area band Math and Physics Club for about 15 years, and another 15 years would be most welcome. However, we recently learned that the band is wrapping up with a final single, the two-track Indian Ocean 7" available via Matinee Recordings. Of course there is a backstory. There usually is with endings, although this one is especially poignant. Math and Physics Club co-founder and guitarist James Werle succumbed to cancer last year. Title track "Indian Ocean" was written before James died, but before it had not yet been recorded. So remaining members Charles Bert, Ethan Jones and Kevin Emerson recorded the song, as well "In Dreams", which was written as a tribute to James.  It is a truly memorable final statement, with sadness and hope, as well as a sublime craftsmanship. –When You Motor Away

While it may be the end for Math and Physics Club, I can’t see the band celebrating their career any better way than with this final single. There’s this fragility in the guitar sound, one strumming and one circling overhead, all leaving plenty of room for the vocal melody to soar throughout the track. There’s a slight push in the energy just after the first 1.5 minutes, though the song still feels like its just pulling at every last emotion we’ve got, particularly with the lyric “I can’t even sing/the words won’t come out of my mouth.” You get choked up in the song and the memory of an incredible pop band. –Austin Town Hall

The song Indian Ocean was my introduction to this band. It really moved me, despite not yet knowing the sad circumstances behind the song. This is the band's last ever single, after guitarist James Werle died of cancer in 2018. The remaining band members recorded these songs after his death. 'Indian Ocean' is an amazingly beautiful and powerful song which paints a vivid picture in your mind. Melodically, it is stunning too and the vocals are so heartfelt. It is a timeless classic. The lyrics 'I can't even sing, the words won't come out of my mouth' are repeated at the end, so emotionally that its a struggle to hold back the tears. Their sound is largely indie pop but with hints of folk which is demonstrated more in the next song. 'In Dreams' is a lovely ballad with R.E.M. vibes. Another sweet song tinged with sadness. On the whole this is a very moving listen and there could not be a better way for the band to say farewell. –Colours Through The Air

Si chiude quindi la carriera dei Math and Physics Club e termina con questa delizia agrodolce, che ci culla come le onde del mare e diventa anche tributo per il chitarrista e co-fondatore della band James Werle, venuto amancare l’anno scorso. “Indian Ocean” non vede la sua partecipazione ma, ovviamente, i lsuo spirito è come fosse ancora presente. Il singolo esce in un 7” via Matinee Recordings ed è completato dal brano “In Dreams” sul lato B. –Indie For Bunnies

Con este último single 7”, la fantástica banda norteamericana de indiepop MATH AND PHYSICS CLUB ponen punto y final a una brillante trayectoria de quince años, un single dedicado a James Werle, co-fundador del grupo y que nos dejó a finales de 2018. El single incluye dos pluscuamperfectas canciones pop de melodías aterciopeladas. “In dreams”, por la cara b, es un tema a base de guitarras acústicas, mandolina y armonías vocales, que me recuerda a REM. –El Planeta Amarillo