The Sum
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The Sum

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"4 1/2 out of 5 stars!!"

CCM Magazine - June Issue

The Sum’s Felicity Combs’ vocals stand out like a splash of color against a white canvas. While
it would be fair to compare the quality of her voice to Christy Nockels (Watermark, Passion) or its
sultry feel to Sarah McLachlan, Combs’ unique sound is unlike anyone else. Sometimes deep and
almost dark and other times floating above the melody, there is nothing predictable about her tone
or delivery.
This Statham, GA, duo’s musical groove does not fail to live up to the high standard set by the lyrical
and vocal content. As “Everyone” unfolds, the listener is drawn in by piano and guitar-driven songs,
moving string arrangements and lyrics that speak honestly about life. With unflinching songwriting,
The Sum accomplishes its goal of wanting people “to relate ... and feel our songs on the inside”.
In the title track, Felicity admits to “wearing a smile with the saddest eyes” as she sings to a world
that seems so distant, disconnected and afraid.
While the first half of the album boasts enjoyable, upbeat songs such as “Best Of Me” and “An-
them”, the duo seems to really find its niche later in the listening journey. “Black Mountain” is a
jazzy, standout track with a chorus that cries out so genuinely, “Harvester...I need You ... Lift me
from this shame” that it will leave you with cold chills. The album concludes with the satisfying and
beautiful ballad “Who Can We Blame”.
“Everyone” is an epic accomplishment for this indie band and a brilliant collection of songs that
no music connoisseur should miss out on. Purchase the album at or myspace.
- CCM Magazine, June 2007

"Record Review"

The Sum
Everyone EP
Independent Release

The local husband and wife team of Chris and Felicity Combs make up The Sum, who in turn make lovely, moody pop sounds on the debut EP Everyone. Self-recorded and produced, the six-song collection moves together quite well and sounds pleasantly balanced, avoiding the common pitfalls of over-production and echo-y bathroom rough cuts.

Felicity sings and plays the piano, while Chris mostly sticks to guitar and mandolin. The setup might be a little traditional, and basic, but not much else than an occasional drumbeat is needed. Felicity’s clear and powerfully feminine voice calls to mind Nichole Nordeman or Kat Maslich of Eastmountainsouth, and carries the songs, mostly ballads, with ease. Each track can boast insightful lyrics that flow easily and poetically with the music.

If there is a complaint here, it’s that the music is almost too pretty. "Black Mountain" has some unexpected jazzy turns, but songs like "Fool’s Gold" and "Everyone" forget to remind you to keep listening despite poignant and soulful wording. On the whole, the EP gives off a calm, inspirational mood to please acoustic pop fans and lovers of chill coffeeshop ballads.

Lia Brunelle (May 9, 2007) - Flagpole Magazine, Athens GA


EP: "Everyone," release date- March 2007



The Sum is an independent Athens-based band whose vibe is pleasing a wide span of music listeners with diverse tastes. Their fresh and captivating sound draws a vast array of people from different walks of life, and the thought-provoking, hope-inspiring message they deliver relates to everyone on a very personal level. Songs with soaring melodies, introspective lyrics, and deep-rooted hook capture their listeners’ hearts and minds, leaving them with a memorably moving experience.

Husband and wife team, Chris and Felicity Combs, founded The Sum in the early months of 2005. For the two of them it was an arrival at a sound they worked towards for nearly 6 years. Combining retro rock, jazz, folk, and melodic pop, The Sum cultivates a lively and intensely deep sound led by piano and guitar, topped with the graceful, soul-filled voice of Felicity Combs. “It’s taken some blood, sweat, tears and years of uncomfortable sowing and pruning till we found a feel that felt like home.” No easy task for two musicians who previously led the show on their own. “Many a fang and a claw have been bared on the way here, but it was worth the long haul, and we’re very excited about this sound that has resulted in The Sum.”

Felicity, a native of Athens, Georgia, began her musical endeavors at an early age. Her father was a Gospel Singer/Songwriter in the 80’s. At five years old she recorded a song with him, “Felicity’s Faith”, that went on to receive radio play on hundreds of radio stations worldwide, and managed to hold the number one spot on regional radio charts for almost two months straight. Six years old and eager to perform, she toured with her father’s band, singing for churches, festivals, and television shows across the Southeast. Her parents wanted to further encourage her interest in music, so she began taking piano lessons at seven years old, and continued her classical training for twelve years, receiving superior scores in competitions as a teenager. She also brought home regional awards from classical voice and thespian high school competitions, and was selected for the GA All-State Chorus for six consecutive years.
Although immersed in classical music, Felicity found a rivaling love for the sounds of pop culture. Listening to such artists as Neil Diamond, Jim Croce, Richard Marx, Keith Green, The Beatles, and her Father, she was fascinated by the world of songwriting. By the age of eleven she was working on her own collection of melodic musings, and through her years of musical creation and performance, she has found songwriting to be her most vivacious of musical passions.

Chris, originally from Virginia, was raised on bluegrass and country music in a family that boasted their own musical successes. His father, the late Roger Combs, played guitar for such country music pioneers as Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and George Jones. Chris began his own musical journey at just three years old, armed with a couple of plastic drumsticks and a “smurfs” drum set. He continues to play drums to this day, but at age thirteen he realized his REAL musical love was in the form of an old electric guitar . With only a few pointers from his father, Chris embarked on his self-taught adventure of conquering the guitar. Pulling his influences mainly from the realm of rock music, he mastered the riffs of 80’s guitar rockers like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Yngwie Malmsteen. Esteemed as a musical prodigy by seasoned musicians all over the Southeast, Chris was playing circles around guitar veterans of 30+ years by the time he was fourteen. His “chops” outshined (and upset) many a player at live shows who seniored Chris by at least 20 years. His father began showcasing his musical talents in bars when he was seven, and he’s been playing for audiences ever since. In high school, he began writing songs for his band, and they in turn started doing shows around Athens, GA, creating quite a buzz in the Athens music scene. His band packed out such famous music venues as the 40 watt and the Georgia Theater.

In January of 2001, Chris and Felicity not only united their lives in marriage, but also united their musical ideas and abilities. With 40+ collective years of songwriting and performing experience under their belts, they began working on a sound that eventually became “The Sum”, a new chapter in their music-making that is steadily growing it’s realm of influence. Their most recent accolade came in the June ’07 issue of CCM Magazine with an unexpected rave CD review, getting the attention of music industry insiders. Their debut CD, “Everyone”, received a whopping four and a half out of five stars, and was celebrated for it’s rich musical and lyrical content.

Many people believe that music is one of the most powerful forms of communication. A song can evoke such strong emotions and thoughts, positive or negative. It’s the ultimate invasive median for communicating a message. As for The Sum’s message, they play songs about real