A mixture of funk, jazz, soul and R&B almost sounds too good to be true, but if you’re already familiar with the Bay Area group More Fatter, then you know that anything’s possible. The band, made up of Tommy Economou, Márk Fédronic, Théophile Fédronic, Gustaf Claesson and Anthony Puducay, released its first record, Fatterludes, on Nov. 14.
The album caps in at 18 minutes, so it’s the perfect length for your walk to class or stroll through Trader Joe’s. Included in Spotify playlists “Monday Office Mornings” and “Cooking & Drinking,” it’s clear that the feel-good energy is radiating off of more than a few of the songs on the tracklist.
“The Owl” starts off the sonic journey that is Fatterludes, introducing flying lyrics and slow-building synth to set the mood of the record at high speeds. Primarily a jazzy dance tune, this track is a modern homage to party combos of the past like Earth, Wind & Fire. Lyrics like “Slipped right out the door/ I left my mind at home” show the songwriting prowess of More Fatter; the band opts for more poetic metaphors than easy pop narratives.
With a dash of personality, “Fatterlude 1 (Let’s Get Funky)” is a funky song that commands listeners to get down. Just under a minute long and serving more as a transition between full tracks, “Fatterlude 1” is a playful sample of what sounds like a recorded jam session. You feel as though you’re in the recording studio with the band while this song is playing — the gritty harmonies especially play into the liveness that leads into “Yeah You.”
Making “Yeah You” a single for the record was no mistake. A standout track perfect for every disco-reminiscent playlist, this song has a graceful cadence perfect for smooth dancing and top-down, fast-driving singalongs. The peppering of trumpet and trombone throughout the whole album adds an energetic layer to the group’s sound that translates fluidly on this song in particular.
The second single of the album, “Silly Goose,” is unarguably one of the best songs on Fatterludes. A stainless soundtrack to making breakfast on a Saturday morning, the song drags listeners into the mundane lives of a couple having silly arguments throughout a normal day. The comical narrative works well for the DIY vibe of the recording, playing into the romantic frustration exuded in every section.
For more of a downbeat, “Waking Up on a Sunday” is a smooth, hard-groove track made for anyone who misses Maroon 5’s 2002 Songs About Jane era. The lyrics “World’s burning down/ Isn’t it clear” present a kind of chaos also found in the production of the vocals themselves. Sounding almost futuristic, this song blends countless styles into one story. As the track builds into a rock break toward the midpoint, it cools down with mysterious brass lines before picking back up into the outro.
Taking a wide turn, “DTR,” standing for “Down the River,” brings a psych-rock twist to Fatterludes. The words “Swimming down the river and it feels like I’m floating” start the song off with an eerie tone, single notes floating in the background before a dreary bass and drum hits enter the room. Economou’s soulfully intentional belting adds a powerful dash of emotion to the closing of the record, never letting the energy fall through a full listen.
“Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” isn’t the strongest track on the listing, but it closes out Fatterludes on a warm note. With sentimental pacing and mood, the song repeats the titular words for the first minute before leading into soft bridging. Continuing the mellow note, “Fatterlude 2 (Justin & the AntMan)” caps the album with an instrumental outro: a slow groove to transition right back into the first song when the album is played on repeat.
And if this debut tells you anything, it’s that you may be slapping this album and hopeful future releases on repeat for a long time coming.