The Lumineers’ co-founder, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jeremiah Fraites and ambient musician and sound artist Taylor Deupree have teamed up and release today Northern (Redux). Out via Dualtone Records/Mercury KX, Northern (Redux) is a complete reimagining of Deupree’s acclaimed 2006 album featuring new piano contributions written and recorded by Fraites along with renewed versions of the original tracks composed by Deupree. The result is a hypnotic, majestic album filled with sweeping atmospheric melodies and rich, transformative soundscapes.
Known for a propulsive, roots-rock sound that has topped charts and summoned crowds to sing along at arenas around the world, Fraites revealed an alternate side of his musical personality in 2021 with the release of his solo debut album Piano Piano. The revelatory effort featured a gorgeous collection of intimate, piano-centric instrumental songs that he had been working on for the better part of a decade. It debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Classical Crossover Albums Chart and earned critical praise from NPR’s Weekend Edition, American Songwriter, World Cafe, Earmilk, Associated Press, and also led to a performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Fraites hailed Deupree’s work as an inspiration, which ultimately opened the door for a sonic kindredness and partnership to come.
With Northern (Redux), Fraites and Deupree form an unlikely collaboration to reimagine Deupree’s original album through the lens of Fraites’ delicate, resonant pianism. “It’s sort of like becoming a chameleon,” Fraites says of changing gears from the extroverted, celebratory music of The Lumineers to the chillier, intensely focused music he’s created with Deupree. “With this music, you need to enter a different universe and be patient. This project is my attempt to not only challenge the audience, but also challenge myself: how much can you say with so little?”
Deupree’s original idea for Northern (Redux) was to simply invite Fraites to record solo piano versions of his original songs. The resulting collaboration went much deeper in the end, with Deupree rearranging, editing, and adding to his original tracks in dialogue with Fraites’ contributions. Those familiar with the album’s earlier incarnation will recognize the material, but will find many new auditory experiences to explore and discover within these radically transformed versions.
The duo previously unveiled the first taste of the album with the single “Haze It May Be” – listen here. The pair worked together under a guiding principle they defined as “1+1=3”: the final pieces fusing their individual identities into something greater than just the sum of its parts. “Constructing this album was unlike anything I’ve ever done before,” Fraites says. “I was traveling a lot while working on this record, so I’ve listened to this music on car rides and flights, in Australia, Asia, South Africa, Singapore, and it could bring tears to my eyes or give me goosebumps all over my body. I really feel like we’ve created something very cool.”
“I always equate my music to walking across a frozen lake,” Deupree explains. “You’re never quite sure how thick the ice is, so there’s a tension between beauty and fragility. Jeremiah and I are riding the line of that uneasiness. It’s not easy music, nor is it difficult music. It’s somewhere in between, and I think that complexity is where the interest lies.”