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Alternative 23/02/2024

The Lumineers' Jeremiah Fraites Announces New Solo Album; Hear "No Surprises" (Radiohead Cover) Ft. Gregory Alan Isakov

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The Lumineers' Jeremiah Fraites Announces New Solo Album; Hear "No Surprises" (Radiohead Cover) Ft. Gregory Alan Isakov
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) "Radiohead is my all-time favorite band, they've inspired me in so many different ways over the years," writes Fraites. "I've always been drawn to 'No Surprises' and thought doing a cover with a singer for my new album Piano Piano 2 would be a nice touch. We've toured with Gregory Alan Isakov a couple different times, and we hit it off immediately. I love his aesthetic, his attention to detail, the timbre of his voice, and the sound and feel of his recordings. He was also a huge supporter of the first record and invited me to open a couple of his shows, so it was really fun and cool to have him play on this song."

Known for a propulsive, roots-rock sound that has topped charts and summoned crowds to sing along at arenas around the world, Fraites recently revealed an alternate side of his musical personality when he unveiled Piano Piano in 2021. The revelatory effort featured a gorgeous collection of intimate, piano instrumental songs that he had been working on for the better part of a decade. It debuted at #1 on Billboard's Classical Crossover Albums Chart and earned critical praise from NPR's Weekend Edition, American Songwriter, World Cafe, Earmilk, Associated Press, and led to a performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The album was also nominated for a Libera Award in the category of Best Classical Record in 2022. The following year, Fraites partnered with ambient artist Taylor Deupree for Northern (Redux), a complete reimagining of his acclaimed 2006 album featuring new piano contributions written and recorded by Fraites along with renewed versions of the original tracks composed by Deupree.

Fraites charts new territory with Piano Piano 2. It's not a companion piece to Piano Piano as much as an outright evolution. If his debut was sparse and minimalist, then Piano Piano 2 is expansive and adventurous, pairing his piano with layers of percussion, acoustic guitar, strings, spoken-word snippets, and bubbling synths. The result is a cinematic record stacked high with mood and melody, unfolding like the soundtrack to a film that doesn't actually exist.

Where Piano Piano was recorded at home in his living room, Fraites began capturing Piano Piano 2's mix of ambiance and atmosphere at various studios across the world while The Lumineers toured the globe. String arrangements were tracked in Macedonia while other instruments were recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Denver, and the Catskill Mountains. While Fraites primarily used his eccentric upright piano (nicknamed "Firewood") for his debut, seven different upright pianos were used on Piano Piano 2, with each one lending its own unique tone and timbre heard throughout the album.

"I just wanted to make music that I love," he says. "I would need 10 people to reproduce a song like 'Spirals' in a live setting, and I'm OK with that idea. With Piano Piano, I wanted to make a record that was intimate, where you felt like you were sitting on the piano bench alongside me. It was an exercise in keeping things simple. With Piano Piano 2, I threw all of that out the window. At its core, the album still revolves around the piano…but I wanted to go big."

Piano Piano 2 is an album that demands to be heard, felt, and actively experienced, with songs that soothe one moment and stun the next. Listen closely and you won't just hear Fraites' twinkling ivories — you'll also hear footage of his children at play, audio from a phone call with his wife, and even dialogue lifted from a late-1980s home movie. Those clips are tucked into the far corners of Piano Piano 2 like mementos of the man who made the album, and they add a human touch to a record that's often otherworldly. For an artist who's never been afraid to scale new peaks, Piano Piano 2 finds Jeremiah Fraites climbing skyward.

Track Listing:
01) Ghosts
02) Spirals
03) Champagne
04) Spiders
05) Rio
06) Welcome
07) Extra Lives
08) Snow Falling
09) Pluck
10) No Surprises






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