One Track Mind: Father’s Children, Love & Life Stories
Standout Track: No. 4, “Unspoken,” from Love & Life Stories, the first studio album from veteran soul group Father's Children since 2007. The ensemble’s two remaining original members, Brandywine, Md., resident Ted (also known as Hakeem) Carpenter and the Bowie-based Qaadir Sumler, penned the melancholy slow-burner, about a man’s longing for an old flame who left and later died.
Musical Motivation: Carpenter writes via email that the song isn’t based on a particular personal experience, but a more universal one: a broken commitment. “For the person experiencing the loss, it is painful to talk about, so when asked what happened, they’d…prefer to leave things unsaid,” Carpenter writes. Sumler, who sings the tune, let the music’s blue hue direct his vocals. “The part about angels coming to take the woman away was written in the studio. We thought it would make an interesting twist on losing love, ” Carpenter writes. “Qaadir did the lead vocal in about two takes.”
Cover Your Tracks: “We are learning to refine our processes over time,” writes Carpenter. He says this album is “vastly different” than the better-known 2011 Numero Group pressing of the group’s unreleased 1973 debut album, Who’s Gonna Save the World. “Back then, there were a limited number of tracks available, so background vocals were often done with group members standing around one mic,” he writes. “Today, the technology is such that you can have an almost unlimited amount of tracks, and you can cut time and costs because you can automate so many things.”
Listen to "Unspoken" after the jump.