Lumineers co-founder, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jeremiah Fraites today announces his solo debut album Piano Piano, out on 22nd January.
Piano Piano features gorgeous, intimate piano-centric instrumental songs capturing Fraites’ reflective moments. Two singles from the album are out: Tokyo, a brisk string-swathed portrait of the titular city, and Maggie, an elegiac 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. “I believe I wrote it about seven years ago. Currently this is my absolute favourite song on the album.”
Piano Piano is an achingly gorgeous set of songs, emotionally direct yet profoundly revealing. Fraites’ songwriting reaches into deeply personal spaces with moving grace and stark elegance, retaining the folk-inspired melodicism so familiar from his work in 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. It 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 Macedonia’s 40-piece FAME’S Orchestra.
On the surface, Piano Piano is a succinct description of the album, but the deceptively simple title for Fraites’ stunning debut uncovers more than its initial meaning. While the doubled word in musical terms means “soft”, evocative of the music’s tender lyricism and rapturous vulnerability, when translated from Italian it also means “step by step”, a phrase that concisely captures the journey that Fraites has taken to realize this long-held dream. The language itself reflects the most recent step along that path; Fraites’ move to his wife’s hometown of Turin, Italy. Tracing the New Jersey native’s evolution reveals other signposts along the way, beginning with his childhood love of classical music, through wistful piano tracks such as Patience and April written for The Lumineers albums, up to composition work for the Hunger Games movies. The songs that make up Piano Piano have been stockpiled along the way, penned in fleeting moments backstage or on the road, waiting to finally be given full expression.
The hushed beauty of Fraites’ songs and the striking intimacy of the album’s recordings make for a radiantly moving experience throughout Piano Piano. “I wanted listeners to feel almost as if they’re sitting on the piano bench next to me,” stated Jeremiah. “I love the idea of communicating with people through music alone, which can sometimes say more than words ever could.”
08) An Air That Kills
09) Simplest of Matters
12) Lullaby (Bonus Track – Vinyl Only)