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Hello all! Let’s welcome to our blog the fantastic The Western Civilization. Led by the songwriting partnership of Reggie O’Farrell and Rachel Hansbro, The Western Civilization is a collaborative Indie Rock project from Austin, Texas, with a revolving ensemble reminiscent of the Broken Social Scene. Over the previous year or so, they have been releasing songs from the new record, “Fractions of a Whole”, and on February 16th, they finally dropped the entire album. The entire album was recorded, produced, and mixed by O’Farrell, and mastered by Nick Landis at Nick Landis Mastering in Austin, Texas. It is the band’s dream to produce engrossing, skillfully composed music that is an aurally enveloping avalanche of big tones and feeling and this collection of songs spectacularly does that. Let me tell you about the album as a whole.

The album opens with beautiful and dreamy “Noctambulism” and has these soft guitar strums. The band then begins to sing about a broken relationship and the feelings of anxiety one feels whenever their partner is around. The piano solo is breathtaking, very emotional, and moving. The performance is very delicate and you are drawn in by the compelling story the music comes along with. Whew! What a way to start the album!
Next is “Stitches “ which begins with a steady guitar strum. The song is a melancholy yet exquisite tribute to human tenacity and the adventure of navigating adversity and emerging unscathed. Its lyrics describe the inherent nature of humans to survive despite any odds. The song is beautifully written and performed and leaves you feeling inspired.

“Bible verse for kids” starts excitingly and energetically and as the song builds you hear the ethereal mouth percussions. In the song, The Western Civilization purges itself of the burdens it carried from its upbringing in a conservative America, rewriting history to restore a sense of self in which gender roles are non-conforming and religion is a choice rather than a mandate. It encourages listeners to avoid hypocrisy and practice what they preach. The harmonizing melodies and musical arrangement make for a fantastic musical voyage.

Next is “ She’s by the Sea” which begins sadly, the song depicts the story of a relationship where one person believes that he or she has been saved by his or her partner ( “don’t know how you found me but I’m glad you did”). He or she goes further and states that he or she is very invested in the relationship (I believe in you). The duet on this song is majestic and completely overwhelming. The song will get you in your feelings!!!

“If you’re lucky” is a shift in the album that is gladly welcome. This country-infused song talks about life, decisions, and confronting our demons. At the time this was written, the band members were experiencing guilt over the way I had responded to many circumstances involving individuals I loved. There is a strong sense of existential dread about the climate problem and the status of civilization in general coexisted with their confusion about where their life was heading and what to do next.

The static sounds in this song make it more unique. The song is very inspiring and uplifting and leaves you feeling unstoppable!!

Next on the album is “Fool”. When the song begins you are introduced to these sweet guitar sounds. The song is about a person who has realized they’ve been made a fool out of, the song goes into detail to make the persona see the signs of being played a fool. The song’s lyrics, vocal performance, and musical structure paint the perfect picture for listeners to see what the band is talking about.

“My mess” is another pivot in the album. The song is a dreamy and beautiful ballad about the burdens and struggles of life( “ reality has taken its toll on me”). The vocal performance and additional harmonies bring something different to the table than what you usually hear! What a unique quality this song has!

“The Snake and Saint” is a rock song that talks about how the savior was asked to carry our iniquities. The song is introspective although it is not a ballad as it touches on faith-based topics. The guitar, piano, and drums complement the vocal performance and create quite literally a heavenly experience!

Next is “The Ocean’s on the Rise” which is yet another song with a country feel. The song is about a type of apocalypse that is coming and how you need to find closure before it all ends. The vocal performance is undoubtedly spectacular and the delivery was crisp and flawless. The whole song makes you feel as if you’ve stepped out of your body for a moment and that’s the lower of good music!!!

Finally, we have “Proselytism”. This slow song is about the persona who wants to go back in time to a time when she wasn’t afraid of love. The persona is clearly heartbroken and blames her partner for causing her this type of pain and even refers to him as a monster. The performance is very emotional and the song allows you into the headspace of the persona so you’re able to feel their feelings too. The song is beautifully crafted with subtle hints of crystal sounds towards the end which is a surprise. This song perfectly captures the vibe and essence of the album so it is so fitting that it ends it.

What an emotional roller coaster!!! “Fractions of a whole “ is a puzzle of raw emotions that come from a very real place. I’m not surprised that most of these lyrics are a love letter from one of the band members to her friends and family who supported her during a difficult period in her life. If you have been in a similar situation or even if you have not you will relate to the idea of being given hope to keep fighting because things will eventually get better. The album is a gorgeous and powerful piece of music and the talented band The Western Civilization has an awesome career ahead!

Stream the “Fractions of a Whole“ album on Spotify

Follow The Western Civilization here and on their socials; Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp, YouTube

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