With songs like “Long Haul” and “Must Have Been Wild” pop-country masterminds Fretland are ready to present their full-length debut (pre-order on Bandcamp). The self-titled album is a growth experience, coming full-circle, built on their journey marbled with uncertainty.
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“I feel our first album is a coming of age story,” frontwoman Hillary Grace told American Songwriter. “The characters in the songs have defined my own journey throughout the course of 10 years. This album is a culmination of how I perceived my parents’ marriage, my own capacity for love, and trying to reckon who I am with who I’m trying to be. My hope is that these songs offer people the same opportunity to explore and relate to a new character.”
The debut lists 11 songs written in varying styles including, pop, country, folk, americana and indie. “Long Haul” which opens the album is bountiful in exceptional vocals and superb production. The echoing of reverbed guitars next to acoustic strumming gives depth and traditional instrumentation to the pop song. Grace’s low-range vocals are well-controlled and rich with texture. “Long Haul” offers a touch of something different than many other pop-styled songs of the same genre.
“Must Have Been Wild” fits more into a folk category and is ballad-like with slow tempos. Grace’s layered, higher range vocals are sung gently on top of plucked acoustic strings and intermittent piano selections with swells of violin.
“Releasing our debut record feels like that classic first rodeo. We’re never sure what to expect, when to celebrate, or when to be disappointed,” Grace said. “Add to that a global pandemic two months before our release date and now it’s looking like everyone’s first rodeo. The music community is desperately trying to innovate all while grieving the loss of the world we knew.”
“In some ways nothing has changed,” she added. “As artists we are always wanting to connect with new listeners. So how do you do that when you can’t tour? We can’t replace the energy and vulnerability that we feel on stage – getting the response to our music in real time. We’re committed to finding new ways to connect that feel genuine and are doing our best to stay positive. Music has always been a large part of how we relate to the world around us, our world is heavy right now but we still have music.”
If you too are itching for a connection and musical counterpart to your quarantine blues, go stream some Fretland this Friday when they officially release their self-titled debut. Until then you can enjoy some of it right here.