HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore


  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

Lumineers' Jeremiah Fraites drops first solo album, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Thursday, January 21, 2021

» See more SOUND CHECK

The Lumineers has kept co-founder Jeremiah Fraites busy during the past seven years, three studio albums and two Grammy Award nominations. Throughout that time, however, he's had another project on the back burner.

"Piano Piano," coming out Friday, Jan. 22, is, as its title indicates a collection of piano-led instrumentals Fraites has been working since even before the band formed. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the Lumineers' world tour, it offered the multi-instrumentalist a ripe time to finish it -- from Turin, Italy, where he resides with his wife and their two-and-a-half year old son. Working remotely with co-producer David Baron, Fraites filled it out with contributions from other musicians, including Lumineers violinist Lauren Jacobson.

The 11 songs were inspired by Fraites' events and travels, and while he's not happy about the circumstances that finally pushed "Piano Piano" in tune, he's not complaining about having a bit of "silver lining" to emerge from his corner of the quarantine...

While recording "Piano Piano" only took about three months during 2020, Fraites, 34, says the oldest track, "Nearsighted," dates back 13 years, to when he was studying in Kingston Upon Thames, England. "Some of the songs were written last year, and some of the songs are two or five or seven years old. I always wanted to do something like this; I just never had the time. Then the pandemic sort of forced my hand in an arguably positive way. I was going to stay safe and stay inside no matter what, so I figured I may as well be constructive and creative. It really helped me bear and get through 2020."

After learning to play trumpet and drums, Fraites gravitated to piano while in high school. "Personally I've always thought piano is the most beautiful instrument in the world. So for this I wanted to capture moments of intimacy, as if you were sitting on the piano bench next to me, but not to be so raw and vulnerable and just throw one mic up in the room and record what I was playing. That would be shooting myself in the foot. I felt the songs deserved a little more than that."

Though the Lumineers have recorded a couple of instrumentals, "Patience" and "April," Fraites does not recall submitting any of the "Piano Piano" songs for the group's consideration. "There were maybe one or too, but I can't think off the top of my head which ones. I've sent Wes (Schultz), a lot of stuff, and he's sent me a lot of stuff over the years, and most of it doesn't make it to a Lumineers final recording. I never thought we'd release instrumental music at all in the Lumineers, so the ones we have felt like happy accidents. With 'Piano Piano' I can't really describe it in words, but I can tell the difference why these songs work for this album and not the band."

Fraites also feels that he became "a better musician" working at home, with limitations and outside the comfort zone and luxury of a recording studio, on "Piano Piano." "When you're in a studio away from home, you have time to choose and pick what's right. With this, when my son went to sleep it eh afternoon I knew I had one to two hours to record, no matter what. That was a challenge. I felt like I was building this sculpture, and every morning I'd wake up and it looked the same. The illusion was I wasn't making any progress, but at some point I could see what the sculpture was becoming. It was like the best and worst thing I'll never do again."

The Lumineers, meanwhile, are looking forward to resuming their world tour in support of 2019's "III" album but are also working on new music, according to Fraites. "We're in a full-blown holding pattern now. So I can see us chipping away at a fourth album this year, and if we do that then maybe when the tour picks up again, whether late this year or some time next year, we'll combine albums three and four into that tour cycle and celebrate the two albums rather than just the third. I don't think we'll know for awhile, really."

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration