Creating a breathtaking soundscape with his music, we caught up with fraser to talk all things music and what lies ahead
A few months back, fraser m released his album “summer in winter”. The album has been on repeat ever since then. Atmospheric and a reverb coated aura, I spoke to fraser to find out more about what songwriting and being a musician.
Hey hey! How’s the universe of fraser m? Keeping busy? I’ve had your album on repeat since it’s release, it’s so beautiful!
Thank you that really means a lot. I have been busy, I’ve been on the move this past winter. I’m attempting to learn Spanish, have been exposed to several different cultures. Plus I’ve been going to galleries and catching shows whenever I can.
Wow sounds amazing! Your music is so pure and fits perfectly on any chilled playlist. Who would you say are your biggest inspirations? and why? Can be musically related or anyone you actually know.
I’ve drawn on a lot of different artists for this album. I’m not saying my songs are anything like theirs, but a few artists that I kept returning to while making this record include: Atlas Sound, Cigarettes After Sex, Frankie Cosmos, Department of Eagles, Florist, Mazzy Star, Jessica Pratt, Andy Shauf, Elliott Smith, Yo La Tengo, Neil Young, and Yowler. Many of my friends are talented musicians too, and they inspire me to write and put myself out there, you know who you are.
You stated that you wrote your album after moving from Montreal to Toronto, what was that process like? Can you tel us a bit about the background on the album?
I’ll always love Montreal but I was feeling ready to move on, for now, so I made the move back to Toronto, where I grew up. I ended up working a lot in Northern Ontario last summer out in the forest, and I was often by myself. Most of the songs started with acoustic guitar. I scribbled lyrics down the margins of a large messy sketchbook, usually while drawing or painting. Then while doing that, I listened to chord progressions I’d recorded on my phone.
In the fall I was back in Toronto and set up a simple bedroom studio and tracked everything with very limited looping onto a Zoom H4. I mixed in Ableton but tried not to take more than one day on any of the songs, to preserve the raw quality and limit over-editing. I don’t ever really know what I’m doing technically but I’m pretty happy with the result.
Is there a lyric in the world that sums you up? Can be one of your own, or one by another artist.
I have a hard time remembering lyrics to most songs, but here’s one from a song that I can’t get enough of: “It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do” – Chris Isaak. Or, from a song a friend introduced recently: “Well I get told to never get old but the way it unfolds, I’m a little garcon in my head with a little fille that’s stuck in bed” -Born Ruffians. Sounds about right.
How would you describe the music scene where you live? Is there a lot going on there?
I have a better understanding of the Montreal music scene than the Toronto scene since I was living there for 10 years. Yeah, there is a lot going on. So many people are in bands or making music at home, and there are small to medium sized venues putting on $5 – $15 shows any night of the week, plus a pretty nice selection of after hours techno parties at unofficial venues.
What do you have planned next? Any upcoming releases? Perhaps a tour in mind at some point or even just knuckling down with more songwriting?
I don’t have anything immediate lined up but hope to play shows in Toronto and Montreal this summer. I’m also in a new group called Bobbi with three close friends including my brother, so I’m excited about that.
I’m starting to sketch out what my next solo work will sounds like, and you can expect more of a minimal electronic sound. With maybe moving a bit further away from folk. I’m planning on borrowing some old gear form my uncle to change up my process. Who knows maybe learn enough to record and mix for friends too.
At Born Music, we love being recommended artists to share with our viewers. Do you have recommendations to upcoming artists that you think we should check out?
Here’s a mix of up and coming and already big Canada based bands that I really like and think your readers should know: Jennifer Castle, Charlotte Cornfield, Helena Deland, Fog Lake, Cindy Lee and U.S. Girls.
What’s your favourite thing about being a musician?
The feeling I get when playing live with friends when everything just comes together and sounds perfect, those moments are amazing. Also, playing shows and bringing people together feels pretty great, feeling the support of the community.
If there’s anything that you’d change within the music industry, what would that be?
It’s hard for me to comment on this because I’m working outside the industry, or just barely interacting with it. I think all artists who are really trying to make it should be true to their own sounds. Don’t let tastemakers tell you what to do, or else everything starts to sound the same.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
That’s a tough one since the more I learn and experience I feel further from any sort of wisdom. Try not to be so literal, be honest with others and yourself. Recognize your privileges, and just try to enjoy your life.
You can stream fraser’s album here… or check it out at the bandcamp link below to get your own digital copy!