Alongside his fellow members for Seattle/Portland quartet Jessamine, Michael Faeth saw himself traveling nationally, releasing two full-length albums on Kranky Records and a 7” single on Sub Pop. The band also performed at the CMJ Music Festival in New York and the Bumbershoot Arts Festival in Seattle and shared the stage with the likes of Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, Hovercraft, and The Flaming Lips. In 2000, he played drums live with the Louisville quintet The For Carnation, playing shows across the US and UK, including All Tomorrow’s Parties, and shared the stage with The Group (alias of Stereolab) and Shellac.
Since then, he has played drums with local Fresno groups including Buzzbomb, Atoms Are Aliens, and Llama Boy, and self-released three full-length albums of his own, including his latest effort released earlier this year My Brother’s Equations (2022 2723228 Records DK). Today Faeth shares the video for his single “Equations.”
“In the spirit of Sandy Nelson and John Bonham, I composed ‘Equations’ using drums and percussion only. Some other drummers I was inspired by were Tony Williams, Terry Bozzio, Bill Bruford, Stewart Copeland. The repeating themes I used in the video include mathematics and dancing,” Faeth says.
The songs on My Brother’s Equations were written in and around central California: the rural foothills of Prather, the urban cityscape of Fresno, and at the quaint coastal city of Cambria. They were recorded in a mix of home and professional studios located in Prather, Fresno, Los Angeles, CA, and Kyiv, Ukraine. The record was mastered by Gene Grimaldi (Sting, Lady Gaga, Johnny Cash).
My Brother’s Equations has a classic album structure of Side A and Side B. On each side the format is mirrored with the first three songs being lyrical, the fourth being an ambient and meditative instrumental, and the fifth track being composed with exuberant and rhythmic drums only. The lyrical narrative theme laced throughout the record is that of optimism. While fully acknowledging that mistakes can be made and painful experiences had, the overall arcing theme is of encouragement to overcome, do your best, and live with gratitude and a sense of Joie de vivre. “I hope listeners take away a feeling of positivity”, says Faeth, “and an awareness that intentions matter and there is much to be thankful for.”
Photo Courtesy: Sarah Faeth