MICHAEL FERRIER pulls off a sort of whiplash-inducing reinvention with his new project Fathom Lane. After a critically acclaimed romp through the world of freewheeling avant-rock as an electrified saxophonist with Electropolis, he returns to writing dark and beautiful rock music infected with twists, turns, and hooks galore. And there's nary a saxophone in sight.‘Down By Half’ is the debut Fathom Lane record. These are songs about love and loss—but mostly the loss part. These are songs about what happens with people late at night when maybe they should be sleeping instead. These are songs to listen to when you've switched on the last lamp of the day and the rest of the house is dark. “The tunes on this record try to evoke something universal, telling stories where you can really fill in a lot of the blanks,” Ferrier says. “They obviously come from my own experiences, but I want to leave a lot of the questions unanswered and let the songs live in the listeners' experiences too. In the process of making the record, we discovered a chemistry between my voice and Ashleigh's, where you seem to hear two sides of a story without really an ending. You get to finish it.”
On ‘Down By Half,’ Fathom Lane mines a dark and rich vein of Cosmic American Music, with Ferrier's voice intertwined with that of Ashleigh Still—check out their ghostly take on Polica's ‘Wandering Star.’ But this isn't a country rock record. Country rock gets its due, but there is an experimentalism that makes the sound difficult to easily categorize. The ensemble deftly swings like a pendulum from style to style.
The album was recorded to tape at The Pearl Recording Studio. Ferrier enthuses, “That place was absolutely perfect for the vibe we wanted to create with ‘Down By Half.’ Plus, it has all the gear that went into making my favorite records. You can't fake that.”
Fathom Lane is:
Michael Ferrier vocals, guitar, Rhodes, percussion
with Ashleigh Still vocals and piano
Ben Glaros electric guitar
Shane Akers lap steel and dobro
Brian Roessler bass
and Peter Hennig drums and percussion.
“Sugardown” — Official Video