Co-founder of pop/rock band The Lumineers Jeremiah Fraites has announced his debut solo album Piano Piano, set for release on 22 January 2021.
Piano Piano features intimate, piano-based instrumentals that capture reflective moments from Fraites’ home in Denver, Colorado, USA. Two singles from the album have been unveiled – ‘Tokyo’, a brisk string-swathed portrait of the Japanese city – and ‘Maggie’, an dedication to his wife’s beloved dog who passed away during the recording process.
“‘Tokyo’ is one of the oldest songs on the record”, says Jeremiah Fraites. “I believe I wrote it about seven years ago. I went back and forth on whether to record this song on a grand piano or my custom felted piano nicknamed ‘Firewood’ – I ultimately landed on using the softer, more distinct Firewood because I felt that captured the soul of the tune better. This was a song I was guilty of over-thinking and confessing to my wife that I ‘just don’t think it was ready’ for the album. I suppose finding that fine balance between overthinking and not thinking at all is the key when in the studio. Currently this is my absolute favourite song on the album”.
He continued, “I am most proud of ‘Maggie’ because of how difficult it was to record and to get ‘right’ – I probably said out loud on five separate occasions that I was not going to use it and delete it from the record as it continually seemed to fight me. It was also titled something completely different, but while finishing the mix at my home in Denver, my wife’s beloved dog Maggie passed away in Italy and the name just fell into my lap. Adding the drums at the 11th hour of recording (per my wife’s insistence) was the lynchpin for finishing this song. Not only could I no longer imagine the song without drums, but no longer imagine the album without this song”.
Piano Piano is at once emotionally direct, yet profoundly revealing. Fraites’ composition reach into deeply personal spaces with moving grace and stark elegance, retaining the folk-inspired melodicism so familiar from his work with The Lumineers, transported into a more classically sophisticated setting. In addition to piano, Fraites plays nearly every instrument on the album – including guitar, drums, synths, and programming. The Album was co-produced and engineered by David Baron (Jade Bird, Vance Joy, Shawn Mendes) and features other collaborators such as The Lumineers’ violinist Lauren Jacobson, cellists Rubin Kodheli and Alex Waterman, and the 40-piece FAME’S Orchestra from Macedonia.
The album’s title – Piano Piano – when translated from Italian means “step by step”, is a phrase that concisely captures the journey that Fraites has taken to realize this long-held dream.
“I wanted listeners to feel almost as if they’re sitting on the piano bench next to me”, says Jeremiah. “I love the idea of communicating with people through music alone, which can sometimes say more than words ever could”.