In anticipation of her new album, “U kin B the Sun”, expected from ARTS & CRAFTS, February 07th, 2020, Frazey Ford has released a new single “Azad”, to the delight of her many listeners and fans. This is the second single released prior to the album’s arrival.
“The Kids Are Having None of It” was released in October 2019 with its clear, hopeful message that change must come. Now! For the next generation already gets the message and they are not going to tolerate the pace at which acceptance and inclusion, innovation and vision, are being handled in our current times. “Get out of the way, You’ve had your day, And it’s no longer how we gon’ play”. “We’re out here to evolve, I guess u missed the call. And to the party u are rather late.” The song is a slow rhythmic groove, suitable for it’s uplifting pulse which catches the ear right away and the feet follow close behind. Those who already get it, know that dancing is the best way to spread the happy news. Indeed, Frazey Ford sums up many things in this new anthem and for many a new listener will be joining the party “rather late” but such wonderful new sounds are never too late to be heard.
Frazey Ford released her first solo album “Obadiah” July 20, 2010 on Nettwerk. Having established a devout following with her work in the Be Good Tanyas, a folk, bluegrass trio, the album was received with enthusiasm and went on to garner accolades and praise in her home of Vancouver. Following successful touring and personal performances, Frazey produced her second album in 2014, “Indian Ocean”, which was surprising in its use of the Memphis soul sounds of the Hi Rhythm Section, renowned backing band for the legendary Al Green. The infectious “September Fields” fully capitalized on the sweet smooth grace of the fully seasoned back up band – organ, guitars and horn section. “Done” another stellar song from this album, became a fan favourite and featured a strong vocal presence full of joy and resolve.
Those new to Frazey Ford will at first be struck by her unique phrasing and vocal style, which requires some adjustment. She sings as if she is trying to camouflage the words as she hurls out emotion. It is a captivating technique, which must surely be one that she uses to affect listening to her songs. In live performances, she doesn’t use the same deep stylistic impulse, but it is a signature of her approach to telling her stories and singing her songs from the heart.
“Azad” is a compelling and deeply alluring tune and more evocative of some deeper emotion than the earlier released single, “The Kids Are Having None of It,” which was clear and precise in both language and message. “Azad”, the opening song on her third, soon to be released album, “U kin B the Sun”, starts with a deep long tone, reminiscent of whale call almost, followed quickly by a deep funk beat from drum and bass while single piano chords outline the melody which Frazey then sings in a sultry disguised vocal that pulls the ear closer, as if trying to hear a secret conversation, just beyond some unknown divide. Described as a memory of her childhood home, “Azad” paints a mysterious image while the band builds up the heat underneath the story. Frazey sings: “A dragonfly he landed, Shimmering wings expanded, Tiny divination, Of god’s creation, Behold, there is beauty in this world, So hold any way that you know how.” By now the song is full open wah wah and clavinet piano, pulling and pushing the song into the key aspect of the story. For this is not just a song of remembering, but as a song of inspiration and mission. For in the reflection of past beauty and perhaps innocence, the songstress is called upon. “Oh young thing, You cannot be tamed in this life, Find your feet, Go wide for the red western sky, It’s all yours, go get what you want”. Whoever provides this encouragement in the song, offers then to be there to watch it all unfold.
Here the song ends but the journey has just begun. If Frazey Ford is known for any specific theme, it is that all people are inspired and empowered for and of greatness. “Go wide. It’s your life, It’s all yours, go get what you want.”
These early singles are invitations to the third album in Frazey Ford’s continuing evolution as songwriter and recording artist. Given the strength and the power of these songs, the album, “U kin B the Sun,” holds to be filled with the twists and turns of a magical music. Can’t wait!
Photo credit: Alana Paterson