It’s a song about past and present partnerships, and what it means to show gratitude to someone. Some days it’s effortless and other days you get so bogged down by the day-to-day that you forget to be thankful. As evidenced by the Weakerthans-influenced twang of “Left In The Living Room”, Impossible Sum really is different than anything Max has done before. It’s a departure from his emo and pop-punk roots; a collection of songs that exist outside of genre, as if he were contributing to the Great American Songbook.
Stern told Talkhouse that Stevenson’sinvolvement with the song “happened pretty quickly once I gathered up the courage to send her a text message and a demo, and having her voice on this record is a true honor.”
Impossible Sum may be Max’s first solo record, but it certainly isn’t a solo effort. In addition to Laura Stevenson, a stacked personnel of other longtime friends and collaborators helped Max bring these songs to life, including Adam Beck (Sincere Engineer, Into It. Over It.), Matt Arbogast (The Gunshy), Jon Hernandez (Timeshares) and Kyle Pulley (who produced, engineered, and mixed the album).
For Maxwell Stern, Impossible Sum—his first proper solo record after being in bands like Signals Midwest, Meridian, Timeshares—is an honest-to-God effort to wrangle heartfelt and sometimes confusing feelings of adjustment, displacement, and settling into song. These songs have the kind of heart-on-the-sleeve vulnerability that fans of his other bands have come to admire, but presented in a completely unfiltered fashion, existing exactly as they need to be.