Chicago Indie Band Our Fathers Release Swirling "Space Song"
Chicago is one lucky city. It’s home to Our Fathers, a 5-piece indie outfit transforming sound in unexpected ways with every release. It’s tough to box them in — it would be a disservice to call them strictly pop but indie isn’t even quite the right moniker either — because each song is a whirlwind of influence from psych-rock to electronica and a whole lot more.
Last month, Our Fathers released “Space Song,” one of the most dynamic songs in their bursting discography. “[Our keyboardist] Brandon Suarez and myself were causally improvising and started playing the beginning riff over and over again. The chords he was playing were as chirpy as they were aggressive, like puncturing a smooth surface, so I started to sing the words ‘if you're gonna be it, do it soon, 'cause no one here in this room will wait for you.’ Those ended up being the intro lyrics to the song, dictating its narrative to be both a form of advice and a warning,” lead vocalist Madeline Smith says about the track. “The song is pretty consistent through the first half, with small nuances changing here and there, so we wanted the song to have a completely different feeling towards the end. The verses are confident and bold, the chorus is questioning, and the ending is a reflective turn… I wanted the song to be about digging deeper into human emotions and thinking about what we really want for ourselves, rather than being persuaded by the expectations surrounding us.”
Mimicking the push-and-pull of its lyrical meaning, “Space Song” travels through layers of warring sounds. At first it opens with close, plinking beats under Madeline’s songbird voice, but Our Fathers quickly lean into their experimental signature, cutting those quick beats with a blossoming arrangement of punchy percussion and warbling riffs in the distance. There’s an underlying buzz to “Space Song” — sometimes it’s faint, heard only if you listen closely, but most of the time it’s right there at the forefront. The vocals, on the other hand, don’t change as much — they remain a cool wisp throughout the track, even when the arrangement twists and turns through brief electronic phases and swirling psychedelia.
“Space Song” is a feat of wild sonic examination. There are endless moments of unexpected detail and influence that sneak onto the scene so you don’t know what’s about to hit you until it does. The instrumental conclusion to “Space Song,” by the way? Remarkable. Pay attention or you might miss something.