The Western Civilization – ‘Fractions of a Whole’

Austin-based project The Western Civilization unveil a rousing, expansive rock sound throughout their new album Fractions of a Whole. The collaborative effort, led by songwriting duo Reggie O’Farrell and Rachel Hansbro, showcase a dynamic sound, from the patiently unfolding atmospherics of opening track “Noctambulism” to the hooky rock pull of “Fool.”

Meditative guitar twangs and trickling piano adorn “Noctambulism” to start, developing into a heartfelt dual-vocal presence that reflect on “sleepwalking around your apartment.” Lyrical observations of change are stirring, escalating into a powerful rock grandiosity at mid-point, as clanging guitar distortion and effervescent piano beautifully collide. The album kickstarts in compelling form, certainly, and it never lets up from there.

“Stitches” follows with a frolicking vibrancy, with both vocalists ruminate on dreaming about the past and striving to let go of past trauma, like broken homes. String-laden accompaniments enter gorgeously in the second half, as the vocal duet concludes with flourishing entrancement. The highlights continue from there; “Bible Verses for Kids” rides on anthemic folk-pop feeling with shades of Arcade Fire, while “The Snake and the Saint” compels with its harmonious vocal glows and twangy acoustical charms. Fractions of a Whole is a thorough success from The Western Civilization.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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