Math and Physics Club

Math and Physics Club - Lived Here Before [12"]

Artist: Math and Physics Club
Title: Lived Here Before
Format: 12" album on heavyweight pale blue vinyl
Cat#: Fika063
Release date: 26th January 2018
Bandcamp | Spotify | iTunes

Math and Physics Club’s fourth studio album, Lived Here Before, sees the band stretching confidently into new territory while featuring all the carefully constructed pop handicraft we’ve come to expect from these Pacific Northwest lads. 

Working from a makeshift studio in the wilds of Snohomish, Washington, with fabled grunge producer Chris Hanzsek (Soundgarden, Green River), the band recorded eleven songs over four days in the company of Douglas firs and Swainson’s Thrushes.

Longtime fans will still recognise the band’s upbeat sound set against often bittersweet storytelling, but there’s also a darker, more world-weary undercurrent that feels earned with the passage of time, or perhaps as a reflection of the “times” themselves. 

The lead track ‘Threadbare’ sets the tone with its Shins-esque beat and close-up intimacy, followed by a powerful push-me-pull-you between the verses and choruses, sweet and sad.

‘The Pull of the Tides’ evokes bands like The Ocean Blue and The Softies and sets up one of the album’s more subtle tracks, ‘Like Cinnamon,’ which flips the dynamic between music and lyrics with its brooding backdrop. 

Side two’s opener, ‘Dear Madeline,’ is vintage Math and Physics Club with intertwining guitars and soft brushes beautifully set against one of the band’s more poignant vignettes. 

The mood shifts to agitation with ‘Take a Number’ which paints a more insidious type of darkness, fueled by its dueling guitar riffs and percussive flourishes. The album’s title is also pulled from one of its lyrics.

The album closes in characteristic economy with ‘Drive to You’ which features an arrangement stripped down to simply two guitars and a lilting melody, accented with subtle organ. It’s a fitting end note that reaches back to the band’s earlier days and leaves us feeling a bit more sweet than bitter, which seems just about right.

Math and Physics Club currently hails from Seattle and Olympia and other parts of the Pacific Northwest. They appeared to burst onto the scene in 2005 with their debut EP Weekends Away that garnered international attention, but in reality the band had been taking shape in the hearts and basements of childhood friends Charles Bert (vocals) and James Werle (guitar) since the mid-1990s. Never in a hurry, it took nearly a decade before they found Ethan Jones (bass), Kevin Emerson (drums), and Saundrah Humphrey (violin) to complete the lineup, but it was worth the wait.

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 2016 they released a retrospective (“In This Together”), a collection of the previous 10 years of EPs, b-sides rarities, all available on vinyl for the first time, and their first release with Fika Recordings.

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"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

Math and Physics Club - All the Mains are Down [Digital]

Following on from last year's (long since sold out) 10 year retrospective from Math and Physics Club, we're chuffed to announce they'll be releasing their fourth studio album Lived Here Before in January 2018. We'll be working alongside our good friends at Matinee Recordings for this one, and we'll have a heavyweight blue 12" vinyl version ready for you in the new year. But in case that's too long to wait, there's a digital single from the album out today too. All the Mains are Down is available from all the usual outlets, and you can pre-order the LP from our shop now.

All the Mains are Down - Math and Physics Club Bandcamp | Spotify | iTunes

Math and Physics Club - In This Together [12"]


We've been very excited to work with our new friends Math and Physics Club and our old friends at Matinee Recordings on this brand new compilation, gathering together 16 b-sides, rarities and unreleased treats from the band, all on vinyl for the very first time. Pre-orders have been brisk so we've only a handful of copies of this left, so don't hang around if you're keen to get a copy. If you're a MAPC fan in the USA and are hankering over a copy of the gatefold vinyl, ask your local record store to order you a copy in - RedEye are distributing it outside Europe so point them in the right direction! Matinee are looking after the CD version - we're hoping to get a few copies to the UK in time for Indietracks, otherwise you can order it directly from them here.

Bandcamp | iTunes | Spotify


"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

"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

Math and Physics Club - In This Together

It's an absolute pleasure to announce that we're releasing In This Together, a compilation of EPs, b-sides and rarities from Math and Physics Club. It's the first time on vinyl for all of these tracks, and we've rolled the boat out to make it something truly special: heavyweight cream 12" vinyl wrapped up in a lovely gatefold sleeve, crammed full of release notes, credits and some wonderful liner notes from Tullycraft's Sean Tollefson.


Longtime fans know that Math and Physics Club have never been ones to stash away their lesser material on EPs and b-sides. Some would argue that many of their best songs over the past decade have appeared on exclusive EPs and vinyl-only singles, which is why this collection of non-album tracks plays like one of the band’s finest full length albums, and works equally well for completists and as a starting point for new fans.

The songs here are carefully presented in reverse chronological order, starting with the stunning new track “Coastal California, 1985” that finds the band still in fine form with its chiming guitars and swelling harmonies. Side one continues without missing a beat, winding through several unreleased and hard-to-find tracks from recent years, including a soft and sweet acoustic arrangement of “Do You Keep a Diary” that turns the tables on the electropop version that appeared on their 2007 EP.

Side two features their beloved and previously out-of-print first two EPs, with the classic jangle of “Movie Ending Romance” kicking off a relentlessly cracking set of pop that, when presented together this way, serves to highlight the band’s remarkable first year.

You can pre-order the vinyl from us now - we'll be shipping these out shortly to ensure you get your copy by the release date on the 24th of June. If CDs are more your bag, then you're in luck too: our friends over at Matinee Recordings are putting the CD out from the USA - pre-order that from Matinee here.