If Tori Amos sat down and covered Counting Crows songs, you would hear something similar to Kansas City's far beyond frail – an alternative-pop duo composed of vocalist Sharlynn Verner and songwriter David Cecil. Formed in 2002 on Martha's Vineyard, a small island off the coast of Cape Cod, far beyond frail combines edgy love songs with stunning female vocals, creating music that ranges from breathy and playful to moody and daring.
“Empty City Nights,” their latest album, is an intimate portrait of urban life, love and loneliness. Recorded on one microphone for only $200, it is presented as glimpses into the lives of different people during one “empty city night.” It is the kind of stripped back, raw, and emotional album that fans of far beyond frail’s live shows and earlier EP’s have been waiting for years to hear.
“The album was inspired by the view from my loft in downtown Kansas City. I’d be looking out my window late at night, see a handful of lights on, and wonder what might be happening in those apartments,” says far beyond frail guitarist and songwriter David Cecil. Sharlynn Verner, the band’s vocalist adds, “It’s kind of a reflection on how isolated city life can feel, even though you’re in such close proximity to so many people going through the same things.”
While this is far beyond frail’s fifth release, they’ve typically recorded with full bands, producers, and larger studio budgets. “We’ve been crisscrossing the country for years, touring as a duo, so we thought it was time to make an album as a duo,” says Cecil. “We wanted to see what would happen if it was just the two of us in a room, with the ability to hit record. So, we bought a cheap microphone and set out to make the whole thing with just it and my laptop.”
Even though “Empty City Nights” is a departure from how far beyond frail has made albums in the past, it doesn’t stray far from the sound that has made them an underground success story. Drawing from influences like Counting Crows, Aimee Mann and Sarah McLachlan, as well as contemporaries like Ingrid Michaelson, A Fine Frenzy, and Sarah Bareilles, “Empty City Nights” is edgy, emotional pop music that combines singer-songwriter sincerity with alt-rock intensity. “We think it’s the closest we’ve come to capturing whatever it is that made us want to write songs and play them for people in the first place,” says Verner.
“Empty City Nights” is available wherever digital music is sold, including far beyond frail’s online store at http://music.farbeyondfrail.com, where listeners can preview the entire album and name their price to download it. For more information, visit the band's website at http://www.farbeyondfrail.com.
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