Fruition

Fruition

With Special Guest Rayland Baxter

Fri · March 1, 2019

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

$25.00 - $30.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is 18 and over

Fruition
Fruition
FRUITION is: Jay Cobb Anderson (vocals, lead guitar, harmonica) / Kellen Asebroek (vocals, rhythm guitar, piano) / Mimi Naja (vocals, mandolin, electric & acoustic guitar) / Jeff Leonard (bass) / Tyler Thompson (drums, banjo)

On their fifthfull-length, Watching It All Fall Apart, Fruition transform pain and heartache into something trulyglorious. With their songwritingsharper and more nuanced than ever before—and their sonic palette more daringlyexpansive—the Portland, Oregon-based band’s full-hearted intensity ultimately givesthe album a transcendent power.“The songs are mostly breakup songs,” says Asebroek. “There was love and now it’s gone—we fucked it up, or some outside circumstancebrought it to an end. It’s about dealing with all thatbut still having hope in your heart, even if you’re feeling a little lost and jaded.”In a departure from their usual DIYapproach, Fruition teamed up with producer/mixer Tucker Martine(My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, First Aid Kit, case/lang/veirs) to adorntheir folk-rooted sound with delicatelycrafted elements of psychedelia and soul. Showcasingthe sublimeharmoniesthe bandfirst discovered duringan impromptu busking sessionin 2008, Watching It All Fall Apartalso finds Fruition more fully embracingtheir rock-and-roll sensibilities and bringing a gritty vitality to each track.“We’ve been a band almost ten years now, and we’re at the point of being comfortable in our skin and unafraid to be whatever we want as time goes on,” Andersonnotes. Recorded in tendays at Flora Recording &Playbackin Portland, Watching It All Fall Apartcame to life with thesame kinetic urgencyfoundinFruition’s live sound. “It’s kind of an impossible task, this idea of transmuting the live energy into something you can play on your stereo, but I feel like this record comes close to that,” says Asebroek. At the same time, the band pursued a purposeful inventiveness that resulted intheir most intricately textured work to date. “Tucker helped us push ourselves tocreate something that glistens in subtle little ways that you might not even pick up on at first,” says Asebroek. “We got to play around with all this analog gear and these weird old keyboards we wouldn’t ordinarily use, like a bunch of kids in a toy store where everything is free.”On lead single “I’ll Never Sing Your Name,” that unrestrained creativity manifests in a fuzzed-out, gracefully chaotic track complete withsing-along-readychorus. Built onbrilliantlypiercinglyrics(“And all those kisses that you were blowing/Somehow they all got blown right out”), the songechoesthe album’s emotional arcbypainfully chartingthe journey from heartache to acceptance. “It’s about going through a breakup, moping around, and then finally getting to the point where it’s like, ‘Okay—I’m done with feeling this waynow,’” says Anderson.Throughout Watching It All Fall Apart, the band’slet-the-bad-times-roll mentality reveals itself in ever-shifting tones and moods. On the stark and sleepy “Northern Town,” Naja’s smoldering vocals channelthe ache of longing, the track’stwangy guitar lines blending beautifully with its swirling string arrangement. One of the few album cutsto have already appeared in Fruition’s setlist, “There She Was” sheds the heavy funk influence of its live version and gets reimagined as a shimmering, soulful number documenting Asebroek’s real-life run-in with an ex at a local bar.Meanwhile, “Turn to Dust” emerges asa weary butgiddy piece of psych-pop chroniclingthe endof a failed romance. The song’s opening lyric also lends the album its title, which partly servesas “a commentary on the
general state of the worldtoday,” accordingto Asebroek. “Even if you’re mostly an optimistic person, it’s hard notto feel down when you look atall the insanity happening right now,” he says.While those unflinchingly intimate breakup songs form the core of Watching It All Fall Apart, Fruition infuse an element of social commentary intosongslike “FOMO” as well.Writtenon the Fourth of July, with its references to wasted white girlsand cocaine cowboys, the mournful yet strangely reassuring trackunfolds as what Anderson calls“an anti-party party song.”“It’s about one of those situations where you said you’d go to party but you really don’t want to go, because you know it’s going to be the same old bullshit,” he says. “The song is a call to defuse that guilt in your brain.” And onthe sweetlyuplifting“Let’s Take It Too Far,” the band offersone of the album’s most purelyromantic momentsbypayinglovingtribute tomusic as solace and salvation (“But don’t you worry ’bout dyin’/’Cause there’s no better way to go/We’ll sing until we’re out of honey/Then pour the gravel down our throats”).From song to song, Fruition display the dynamicmusicality they’ve shown since makingtheir debut with 2008’sHawthorne HoedownLP. Through the years, the band has evolved from a rootsy, string-centric outfit to a full-fledged rock act, eventually takingthe stage at such major festivals asBonnarooand Telluride Bluegrass(a set that inspired Rolling Stoneto praise their“raucous originals filled with heartfelt lyrics and stadium-worthy energy”). Following the release of 2016’s Labor of Love, Fruition again made the rounds at festivals across the U.S., prompting Rolling Stoneto feature the band on its “8 Best Things We Saw”at DelFest2016.In choosing a closing track for Watching It All Fall Apart, Fruition landed on “Eraser”—a slow-building, gentlydeterminedepic delivering a quiet message of hope in its final line: “Let it help you heal.”“Because there’s so much heartbreak on thisalbum, we wanted to end on Kellen singing that last line very sweetly,” explainsAnderson. “The whole point of having all these sad songs is helping people to let those emotions out—and then hopefully when they get to the end, they feel a little better about everything they’ve gone throughalong the way.”
With Special Guest Rayland Baxter
With Special Guest Rayland Baxter
Thoreau had Walden Pond. Kerouac had Big Sur. Rayland Baxter? He had an old rubber band factory in Franklin, Kentucky, and it suited him just fine. As one of the hardest-touring artists on the road today, Baxter’s spent most of his professional life in transit, but ever since he was a kid, he dreamed of creative seclusion someplace lonely and isolated, somewhere he could sit still and devote his every waking hour to writing without interruption or distraction. When the opportunity finally presented itself in late 2016, the Nashville native pounced.



“I packed everything in my van and moved to Franklin for three months,” says Baxter. “It was the fist time I ever got to be alone and focus solely on songs like that. All I did was write, write, write all day every day. I was obsessed.”



By the time Baxter emerged, he’d penned more than 50 tunes and crafted a detailed blueprint for his spectacular new album, ‘Wide Awake.’ Deftly produced by Butch Walker, the record infuses Baxter’s easygoing, soulful sound with British Invasion melodies and rock and roll swagger, marrying lean, muscular songwriting with adventurous, inventive arrangements. It’s a cutting, insightful collection, one that takes a sardonic view the violence, greed, and division that seem to define the modern American landscape. Rather than point a finger, though, the music holds up a mirror, offering a sober reflection of the times thoughtfully bundled in bright, infectious hooks. There’s no judgment here, only keen observation, and Baxter implicates himself as much as his neighbor through it all.



“This is an album about decision making,” he explains. “It’s about being a human at the crossroads. Do I do good or do I do evil? Do I lie or do I tell the truth? Am I going to be happy or am I going to be sad? All of these questions and emotions are things I see in myself, and they’re the same things I see in everyone else no matter where I go.”



Baxter’s built a career on capturing those sorts of timeless, deeply human sentiments, bringing colorful characters to vivid life with equal parts humor and pathos. His debut album, ‘feathers & fishhooks,’ was a critical hit praised by Interviewfor its “well-worn maturity,” whileNPR described “Yellow Eyes,” the lead single from his 2015 follow-up, ‘Imaginary Man,’ as “close-to-perfect.” Stereogumdubbed the record “an impeccable sophomore break-out,” and Rolling Stonehailed its pairing of “whimsical narrative with often deceptively complex arrangements.” The music earned Baxter festival appearances from Bonnaroo to Newport Folk in addition to tours with an astonishing array of artists, including Jason Isbell, The Lumineers, Kacey Musgraves, The Head and The Heart, Shakey Graves, Lauryn Hill, and Grace Potter.



“The six months leading up to the release of ‘Imaginary Man,’ that was the first time I really started playing electric guitar and performing with a band,” says Baxter. “We did my first headline run and toured that album for a year-and-a-half, and the experience really opened up this whole new sound for me. It helped me figure out more of who I was as an artist and a songwriter and a traveler and a human being.”



It was with that newfound sense of self that Baxter entered Thunder Sound, the abandoned rubber band factory-turned-studio in the cornfields of Kentucky that would become his home for three months of intensive soul searching and songwriting.



“I blanketed the windows so no one could see inside,” he explains. “I laid a mattress down next to an old Wurlitzer so I had somewhere to sleep. I had a guitar, a desk with a lamp and some paper and pencils, and that was it. For fifteen hours a day, I wrote.”



When it came time to record his mountain of new songs, Baxter relocated to Santa Monica, California, where he wrangled an all-star studio band that included Dr. Dog’s Erick Slick on drums, Butch Walker on bass, Cage The Elephant’s Nick Bockrath on guitar, and piano wizard Aaron Embry (Elliott Smith, Brian Eno) on keys. A producer and artist equally at home working with massive pop stars and indie stalwarts, Walker immediately embraced Baxter’s vision for the album, and the result is a sunny and altogether charming collection. Scratch beneath the surface, though, and you’ll find it’s populated by a cast of characters who project a vision of the good life as they struggle to keep it all together behind closed doors. On the punchy ‘Casanova,’ the singer reckons with debts he knows he’ll never be able to repay,while the volatile “Amelia Baker” charts the narrator’s descent into near-madness as he pines for a starlet perpetually out of reach.



“We have this society where we’re obsessed with celebrity and living on the top of the mountain,” says Baxter. “But what’s at the top? Maybe it’s a lonely place to wake up.”



Late 2016 was a particular tumultuous time in the country, and though Baxter did his best to isolate himself from the outside world while he wrote, it was inevitable that some of the chaos would seep in. On album opener “Strange American Dream,” a chiming piano and spare Motown groove give way to lush harmonies and unexpected melodic twists as Baxter sings, “I close my eyes and realize that I’m alive inside this strange American dream.” Meanwhile, the soaring “79 Shiny Revolvers” finds him reflecting, “you really wanna save the world, man / well, I wanna save it, too / we can blow ’em away / the American way.”

While ‘Wide Awake’ offers plenty of broad, wide-angle musings, some of its most arresting moments arrive bundled inside deeply personal memories and snapshots. The heartfelt “Everything To Me” is a tender tribute to family (Baxter’s father Bucky, who played pedal steel with Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams among others, contributes to the record), and the laidback “Let It All Go Man” is a reminder that there’s beauty in simply being alive.

“I actually started that song two years ago on a trip to South America,” says Baxter. “I was sitting on the porch of a house in this little town in Colombia, and I was all alone playing a gut string classical guitar, just staring out at the ocean and the beach in the middle of the night. It made me realize how much unnecessary stuff we hold on to, all the grinding away we do chasing success and money and missing the big picture. It made me realize what an incredibly beautiful gift it is to be human.”

That empty South American beach may have been a world away from the rubber band factory in Kentucky, but for Baxter, the effect was the same. The solitude offered a chance to observe, to reflect, to grow, to appreciate, and most importantly, to write.
Venue Information:
10 Mile Music Hall
710 Main St
Frisco, CO, 80443