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AARON FRAZER

Aaron Frazer

Into The Blue

    “Into The Blue is the clearest portrait of who I am as an artist. It’s me through and through,” says multi-instrumentalist Aaron Frazer. A daring blend of soul, psychedelia, spaghetti western, disco, gospel and hip-hop, Into the Blue represents the impressive range of Frazer’s sonic talents. Frazer maintains the unmistakable falsetto and classic songwriting he’s known for, but plants Into the Blue firmly in the now with a hip-hop mentality at its core, weaving together genres and production techniques to form something new.

    Into The Blue was conceived, like so many classic records, out of actual heartbreak. Frazer moved cross-country from Brooklyn to Los Angeles and embarked on a journey that’s reflected in the album’s themes of grief, loneliness, and searching for healing. “Into The Blue really means heading into the unknown. That has been the last year of my life and I’m still in the blue,” Frazer explains. “But there are also songs here that celebrate love and the giddiness of a new relationship and all that. That’s part of a breakup to me, processing the whole thing, remembering the things that were right as much as the things that were wrong.”

    Frazer wrote on every track and played several live instruments on the album. The title track, “Into The Blue”, is a haunting, resolute anthem, combining cinematic strings and tough-as-nails breakbeats as Frazer heads west. “Here I go, to a place where the broken heart knows,” he sings. “It’s all I can do. Back into the blue.” “Payback” is an explosive dancefloor heater, featuring shimmering tambourines and driving bass lines. Northern soul drums meet snarling fuzz guitar, hurdling towards its epic conclusion.

    The album features moments of towering arrangements, recalling David Axelrod and Ennio Merricone, balanced by rawness, incorporating iPhone recordings and one-take vocals. For Into the Blue, Frazer enlisted Grammy-winner Alex Goose as coproducer, known for his crate-digging samples and collaborations with hip-hop artists like Freddie Gibbs, Madlib and Brockhampton. Frazer also experimented with samples for the first time on a record, drawing from unexpected sources like 90s R&B group Hi-Five. Though Into the Blue is born out of heartbreak, Frazer hopes it leaves listeners with a sense of optimism. “You know, you can still laugh on a day when you’re grieving,” he says, “there’s no peaks without valleys,” he says, but Into The Blue sees Aaron Frazer at new heights.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    1) Thinking Of You
    2) Into The Blue
    3) Fly Away
    4) Payback
    5) Dime Feat. Cancamusa
    6) Perfect Strangers

    Side B
    7) Time Will Tell
    8) I Don’t Wanna Stay
    9) Play On
    10) Easy To Love
    11) The Fool

    Soft-spoken with the look of a slightly disaffected 1950s matinee idol, Aaron Frazer possesses a unique voice that’s both contemporary and timeless. On ‘Introducing...’ - his debut solo album produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach - Aaron melds mid-60s soul with Auerbach’s particular sensibilities (‘Over You’), songs with a message in the key of Gil Scott-Heron (‘Bad News’) and uplifting tales of love told through a blend of disco, gospel and doowop (‘Have Mercy’).

    The Brooklyn-based, Baltimore-raised songwriter first came into the international spotlight as multiinstrumentalist and co-lead singer of Durand Jones & The Indications but he’s more than a revivalist act. “I didn’t want ‘Introducing...’ to be an exact recreation of an era or a style,” Frazer says. “I’m excited to keep breaking some of the expectations around what exactly I’m supposed to be artistically and musically, or what this scene as a whole can be.” On ‘Introducing...’, Aaron expertly calibrates consciousness-raising and the desire to be enveloped by love.

    Where previous records were written in a partial state of turmoil, Aaron’s debut LP shows maturation and range. ‘Introducing...’ is both loving and gracious, critical without losing hope and a showcase of a young artist on a seriously soulful ascent.

    ‘Introducing…’ features an all-star ensemble including players with the likes of Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Dolly Parton and Charles Bradley.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: There's something warmingly familar about Aaron Frazer's swinging take on classic Northern Soul, nut imbued with a modern tilt that's not only perfect for the home stereo but would go down perfectly in a late night club-based scenario (remember those?)

    TRACK LISTING

    You Don’t Wanna Be My Baby
    If I Got It (Your Love Brought It)
    Can’t Leave It Alone
    Bad News
    Have Mercy
    Done Lyin’
    Lover Girl
    Ride With Me
    Girl On The Phone
    Love Is
    Over You
    Leanin’ On Your Everlasting Love 


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