Maxwell Stern releases "Springing From the Source" from Impossible Sum B-sides - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Philly-via-Cleveland singer-songwriter Maxwell Stern released his debut solo record Impossible Sum back in September, marking the start of a solo break for the frontperson of Signals Midwest and many others. Stern is showing up solo again this week with “Springing From the Source,” the first of two B-side releases from the Impossible Sum era’s sessions. 

For Stern, the concepts of place and time are heavily detailed factors in his music. He told the Key in an interview following his debut, “If you could put everything or everyone you love in one place, I think that would be the impossible sum. It’s something to keep in your heart and move with that idea.” Channeling his album’s track titles and lyrics referencing places or indications of time, “Springing From The Source” grounds listeners by setting the scene at its opening lines, “Amber and smoke filling up a rented room / Burnt down to the embers of an afternoon / So come meet me down by the water, I will be the one / Picking points on the surface and watching til they’re gone”

“Springing From The Source” fits right in with the themes and sounds of Impossible Sum, pointedly so in its reference to the track “Shiny Things” with the lyrics “Collecting scars like baseball cards or shiny things.” Vocally, Stern’s voice feels distant, enhanced by the drum’s consistent beat through the track as it breaks into moments of silence and back into a rhythm of the darker guitar and repetitive synth chiming in throughout. 

Stern spoke about the track via Instagram:

“this song has its origins in Athens, OH in 2009, on a day trip to a swim spot with @ryantroyford@timbolopolis@paolobalboa and the @signalsmidwest crew after one of our first ever out-of-town shows. fast fwd a bunch of years when, for some reason, I dug the memory up and found a song in it.”

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The latest solo single from Stern speaks to everyone’s unique tides in an enchantingly poetic manner, and in particular, it seems as if he does not want to slow down or adjust his tides for the sake of anyone else. Listen to the track below.

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