March 5, 2015

William Ryan Fritch’s “Unholy Frames” Premieres




Lost Tribe Sound is excited to share William Ryan Fritch‘s video for “Unholy Frames” (feat. Origamibiro) off his new full length Revisionist, which is out now. The Rett Rogers-directed video premiered via The Wild Honey Pie, who noted that “the video takes its cues from the surging beauty and awe of the song, looking at moments and objects in hyper close up – showing none of their flaws and all of their majesty. It’s a stunning video for a stunning song.”

Revisionist has garnered a great deal of praise — Stereogum wrote that “Revisionist [is] a grand and sweeping statement marked by staggering beauty and a careful patience,” and VICE noted that “Fritch’s haunting vocals and thumping percussion… evoke a sense of euphoric dread.” Tiny Mix Tapes also had some kind words for the record, writing that “Fritch’s music is impactful and threatening, yet his lyrics remain delicate, rarely tempting concrete interpretation… every word he sings carries a cinematic air, boosted by his explosive design to sound like holy commands, though his lyrics are often vaguely moribund.”

Fritch is a composer, but he isn’t comfortable with that term. He has little in common with most contemporary composers. Most ambient, minimalist, and modern classical music leaves him wanting, and he’s clueless when it comes to that electro-acoustic shtick, though he is often grouped into that category. Until a few years ago, he couldn’t read a lick of music. He still has nightmares about having to sight-read a piece of music in front of an audience, pants or no pants.

As such, if you sat Fritch in a room with just a pen and music staff paper, he may not be able to create anything worth a damn, but if you gave him a room of trash and a tape recorder, he could make it all sing together. Much of his style and sound stems from avoiding having to learn how to notate for and integrate others into his music, either because he was too broke or too dense to do so. 

With little to compare, it’s difficult to put Fritch’s aesthetic into a box. He employs no virtual instruments, plugins, or libraries, just a bunch of raggedy, second-hand instruments he constantly recontextualizes in his studio, the compositional content of every piece flowing from the originating sound itself. The pieces don’t exist separate from the arrangements; they are the arrangements.

The Fritch narrative only becomes more complex from there. Pushing his own boundaries, his music has evolved to include many collaborators as well as the inclusion of his own voice among the beautiful trash at his disposal. Those of us who know Fritch from his explosive, emotive instrumental music will be startled by his fragile, supple voice, which glides and undulates over the compositions with quiet confidence, adding another compelling dimension to his ornate sound world.

Following his work with Sole and the Skyrider Band, as well as his recent collaboration with Volcano Choir drummer Jon Mueller under the name of Death Blues, Fritch called on the likes of Benoit Pioulard, D.M. Stith, Origamibiro and Esme Patterson to help realise his latest album, Revisionist. These inspired partnerships take Fritch’s instrumentation and craft to new destinations, employing new techniques while furthering its immediacy and appeal.

It remains to be seen how Revisionist will be received now, or remembered decades from now. What is certain is that Revisionist will still be relevant. It’s an album that will grow and change with you, music for the ecstatic moments of transition and quiet catharsis. However one desires to classify Fritch’s style, his skill as a shaper of sound speaks for itself. It’s craftsmanship built to last.

Revisionist tracklist:

1. In Denial

2. Revisionist

3.Winds (feat. Benoit Pioulard)

4. Heavy

5. Unholy Frames (feat. Origamibiro)

6. Imposters

7. Infant Sight

8. Gloaming Light (feat. D.M. Stith)

9. Thankless Deeds

10. Still (feat. Esmé Patterson)

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