Math and Physics Club began as a basement project for childhood friends Charles Bert (vocals) and James Werle (guitar) in the late 1990′s. By the summer of 2004, the band coalesced around the additions of Kevin Emerson (drums), Saundrah Humphrey (violin) and Ethan Jones (bass).
After recording a four-song demo in James’ basement, they sent a copy to Santa Barbara pop label Matinee Recordings and soon signed on. They released their first EP ‘Weekends Away’ in early 2005.
Meanwhile, KEXP DJ John Richards also got a copy of the demo and began spinning it on his morning show. The exposure helped build a local following even before the full lineup had played its first show together in December 2004.
In spring 2005, the band played several West Coast shows with labelmates The Lucksmiths, then landed an opening slot at the Sasquatch Music Festival, featuring the likes of Kanye West and The Pixies. They released their follow-up EP ‘Movie Ending Romance’ in July, and then finished off the summer with a packed set at Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival.
Their self-titled debut album was released in October 2006, working with local producer and KEXP in-house engineer Kevin Suggs (The Walkabouts, Smoosh). To promote the album, they made their first trip to the East Coast for a short tour, then returned home for a sold-out record release show. The album reached number did not chart.
By 2007, parenthood left less time to devote to the band for several members. They still managed to release a third EP ‘Baby I’m Yours’ in the fall of 2007, but only played a few shows in 2008 and none in 2009. Saundrah left the band during this time and moved to Denmark, and later Kevin also officially left to focus on his writing career (though he has continued to record with the band).
In the summer of 2009, now all living in different cities, Charles, Ethan, and James started work on their second album by trading recordings over email. They enlisted producer Martin Feveyear (Presidents of the USA, Mark Lanegan) and began recording at Jupiter Studios in Seattle. The ten song album ‘I Shouldn’t Look As Good As I Do’ was released in June 2010. The album reached number did not chart.
In summer 2011, MAPC played its first international shows with a short UK tour that included a set at the Indietracks festival in Derbyshire, England. The tour reinvigorated the band, and soon after they began writing what would become their third album. They decided to record at K Records’ fabled Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia with Bob Schwenkler at the helm, and with Ethan co-producing for the first time.
The first single ‘Long Drag’ was released in the summer of 2013, followed by the ten song album ‘Our Hearts Beat Out Loud’ in November 2013. Both releases featured sleeve designs by noted Brooklyn artist Tae Won Yu. The album
reached number did not chart.
In June 2015, MAPC release "In This Together", an album of EPs, b-sides and unreleased songs from 2005 to 2015, on Fika Recordings.
Lived Here Before press
"Folks smitten with the jangle at the core of C86 and the output of Sarah Records will likely be chuffed, and the songs here are so well-conceived that comparisons to the Go-Betweens or Robert Scott’s work in The Bats are right on the money. But hey, if these comparisons leave you stumped, it’s a safe bet that if you dig The Shins and/or Luna, you’ll like this, too." The Vinyl District [A-]
"MAPC's strongest set of songs to date. Put it all together and it's the best record the band has done and some really fine indie pop" All Music [4/5]
"the core of this band's genius are songs that meld endearing melodies with lyrics that hit home, and the eleven songs of Lived Here Before are the strongest overall statement the band has made to date. They have always had the knack for concise and interesting expressions, whether sweet or bittersweet, and are not shy about interjecting self-deprecatory humor. However, the added years have provided a well-earned depth of experiences to layer into the sweet-sounding confections. The result is an album that is richly rewarding for any indie pop fan." When You Motor Away
"Marblemouth sounds like a slowed-down Bluetones and there’s some lovely little Smiths-esque riffs on the poppy Threadbare. The initial utters of love hit a peak on Broadcasting Waves with lyrics like, “I built a radio tower to signal your heart”" NARC [3/5]
"light and airy with lyrical themes that are wistful and nostalgic with plenty of bittersweet lyrics about regret and disappointment. The Go-Betweens may be the most obvious comparison but there's something very-Real Estate about the guitar on tracks like "The Pull of the Tides"" Collective Zine
"The first thing I notice about the new songs is that they carry a softer tone, almost akin to early Death Cab stuff" Austin Town Hall
All the Mains are Down is the first track taken from the new album Lived Here Before, out 26th January 2018.
All the Mains are Down press
"Listening to, All The Mains Are Down, it’s not hard to imagine it coming from a place of rural idyll; lush, jangling guitars are cut through with lackadaisical vocals and latterly a, bright, upbeat flourish of almost barroom piano." For The Rabbits [All the Mains are Down premiere]
"As the band maneuvers back and forth between casual and energetic, they begin to remind of early Death Cab or Nada Surf. The layered details from backing vocals to distant guitar work display a great deal of confidence…letting the band stake their claim to the finest pop purveyor of the day." Austin Town Hall
In This Together press
"this collection of Math and Physics Club's earliest work and some choice rarities works as a reminder of how good they were, how at their best they actually came quite close to being the next Lucksmiths or B&S" All Music
"So far this is easily the best compilation album of the year and quite possibility the only one you’ll need in 2016." Pennyblack Music
"there’s something stirring and anthemic in the best of these sweetly melodic, heartfelt and life-affirming songs that keeps you hooked on every word and chord change. It’s pop without cynicism, familiar in its sound but attractive all the same" Sounds XP
"This album is a career-spanning showcase of musical craftsmanship and emotionally intelligent lyrics with songs that should be anchoring an indie movie like "Juno" or "500 Days of Summer". Definitely add Math and Physics Club to your dinner party playlist." Soundblab
"Although it isn't billed as a greatest hits album, it comes close to serving as one and should become a favorite album for old and new fans alike. I've had it on repeat for several days now, and it is like having a welcome old friend drop in for an extended stay." When You Motor Away
"this is your chance to fall in love with one of the greatest bands you might have overlooked" Austin Town Hall
"There's something very Belle & Sebastian, both lyrically and in the arrangements, about songs like "In This Together" and "Movie Ending Romance, while the influence of The Smiths is pretty clear on "Graduation Day" Collective Zine
"The album is packed full of jaunty and perky compositions that sound happy even when the band are feeling sad especially on ‘Our Own Ending’ where they wake up alone in bed pouring tea for one. God that’s awful that anyone should have to go through that.
They know their way around a haunting post C86 melody though especially on ‘Sound of Snow’ which sits somewhere between Remember Fun and Bomb Pops.... like Belle and Sebastien they write really nice cello drenched songs like the title track which makes you forgive them and want to give them a cuddle." Norman Records
"there is a gorgeous constant - right from the first - and that's their SOUND - oh, "that smooth, sultry Seattle sound" as John Peel would have called it with a grin and a glint in his eye, had he only had the opportunity - a great, crisp wave of POP, of guitar chimes weaved with cascading melodies and brocade embellishments" Kiss Chase
"'Coastal California, 1985' introduces M&PC in breezy indie fashion, with the vocals of Charles Bert easily described as reserved." Contact Music