Premiere: The Western Civilization find hope on new album ‘Fractions of a Whole’

The Western Civilization have shared their second album, a soul-searching roller coaster titled Fractions of a Whole. 

Premiering today on Happy Mag, the ten-track project spans the reaches of the Texas duo’s sound, from the indie rock roots first planted with their stellar debut to the lush production and mature songcraft we were promised with previous singles. 

Fractions of a Whole opens with the twinkling keys and atmospheric synths of Noctambulism, setting the stage for the blissfully entwined vocals of Reggie O’Farrell and Rachel Hansbro.

The Western Civilization 'Fractions of a Whole'

While the album’s tracklist pulls from an eclectic palette of sounds — from the rustic electro-folk of Stitches to the upbeat melodies and noisy indie pop of Bible Verses for Kids — it’s the pair’s impassioned vocals that remain a reliable throughline. 

Western Civilisation try their hand at soft rock balladry on She’s by the Sea, which sees them gazing at shorelines and holding close to a loved one, while If You’re Lucky muses on mortality and fear atop jangly country strums and glitch pop flourishes.

For all their sonic diversity, O’Farrell and Hansbro are equally interested in storytelling with the mentioned tracks telling the album’s broader tale of optimism in the face of life’s chaos. 

The Western Civilization 'Fractions of a Whole'

“The new songs were inspired by the amazing people who are part of my chosen family,” Hansbro said in a press statement. “Reggie has always been good at reminding me of the positive things.”

It’s an emotional message that courses all throughout Fractions, which at once recalls the likes of Of Mice And Men, The Shins or Death Cab For Cutie

All throughout Fractions there are glimmers of the optimism a found family can bring, even amidst the more sombre cuts like Fool.

That track, with its emo guitar strings and Hansbro’s drawly delivery, wades through an emotional soundscape before delivering the album’s ultimate message on life: “don’t let it haunt you.” 

Later, Western Civilization huddle around the campfire on Snake and the Saint, delivering warm acoustics and a swelling, drum-filled chorus, before The Ocean’s on the Rise ushers in a bedroom pop quality with sparse production and a reflection on our limited time on earth.

The duo’s efforts culminate on ascendant album close Proselytism, an incisive take on feeling unseen soundtracked by shimmering instrumentation. 

With their new album Fractures of a Whole, The Western Civilization plumb the depths of life’s uncertainty and emerge resplendent, with an expansive sound and quirky charm to boot. Listen to the duo’s new album below.