Indian Ocean - Frazey Ford

from the album Indian Ocean (2014)

To fully appreciate the splendor of Frazey Ford's latest album, Indian Ocean, you must first be familiar with her backstory.

The Canadian singer/songwriter hit the scene in 1999 as a member of the alternative country trio The Be Good Tanyas.  The band first came together playing at tree planting camps in British Columbia before gaining widespread popularity thru the inclusion of their songs on Showtime series The L Word and Weeds, as well as the AMC series Breaking Bad.

In 2010, she released her solo debut album Obediah.  The album contained songs with a chilling raw beauty.  Firecracker and Hey Little Mama are two of the finest alt-country songs of this decade.  I consider this record to be a minor masterpiece.

Indian Ocean is her second solo album.  Admirably, she has used this record as an opportunity to evolve her sound with an infusion of Memphis soul to her natural country sensibilities.  To accomplish this, she enlisted the Hi Rhythm Section.  These were the studio musicians who play on all of Al Green's classic 1970's tunes.  To further immerse herself in the vibe, she recorded the record in Memphis.

The infusion of soul into her spacious western country gives the music an other worldliness that is hard to pin down.  The beat, the groove, the hammond organ, the guitar tones, and the horn section add rapturous textures, but they are played with restraint, respecting the artist and songwriting with a maturity that is inspired.

The album concludes with the song Indian Ocean.  This mysterious body of water is the perfect metaphor for the sound created by these magnificent artists.  The sweet vibrato-fueled vocal soars like a gull over a slow churning sea of leslies and horns.  The drums provide a dynamic lift that ebbs and flows like the tide.  Chaos and danger lurk at the horizon in a Great Gig In The Sky inspired background vocal track.

Frazey Ford is an artist you should embrace.  You will be richer for the experience.

Click Here to listen to Indian Ocean.

Click Here to listen to a four song acoustic set Frazey Ford performed in the NPR studios in August 2010.  It includes Firecracker.

Click Here to watch the 2001 official video to The Be Good Tanyas song The Littlest Birds.

Click Here to read my March 2012 blog post for her song Firecracker.

Click Here to read my May 2012 blog post for her cover of Bob Dylan's One More Cup Of Coffee.

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