Grammy-nominated The Fray continues to receive praise for their third full-length album Scars & Stories, out now on Epic Records. Scars & Stories has garnered attention from USA Today who calls the album “more muscular and more buoyant,” while still maintaining a “searching earnestness that will delight the faithful.” People Magazine continues that the new album is a “solid effort that is easy on the ears.” To celebrate the release, which debuted #4 on Billboard Top 200, the band performed on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” Today Show,” “Rachael Ray Show, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and the PBS Premiere “Live from the Artists Den.” Additionally, the band helped kick off Super Bowl XLVI as part of the pregame festivities at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Fray will support the album with a North American tour (full dates below).
Scars & Stories is available in two versions on iTunes, regular and deluxe. The deluxe cotains 5 bonus tracks—covers recorded by The Fray—including Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia,” Emmylou Harris’ “Boulder to Birmingham,” Annie Lennox’s “Why,” The Fugees “Ready or Not,” and The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps.” Target stores are also carrying an exclusive deluxe CD with 4 extra tracks.
The new music video for the first single “Heartbeat” is available on iTunes now and already has over 3 million views on Vevo. The band filmed the music video with acclaimed director Justin Francis (Weezer, Eminem, The Cure, Modest Mouse) on the California coast, north of Malibu. “On the surface it’s a beach party performance video, but it’s really about people coming together and sharing a common experience, and enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime evening together,” explains Francis. The video is shot as a series of moments and experiences instead of one linear storyline.
“Heartbeat,” which is currently #10 at Hot AC, is the lead track on Scars & Stories. Of the single, lead-singer Isaac Slade notes, “That song came out of a period of my life when I was trying hard to be open to whatever came my way. I traveled through South Africa and Rwanda with a buddy, and at first it was really hard to stay open in the face of so much pain and heartache. But then I ended up meeting so many cool and inspiring people, and all these ideas for lyrics and melodies just started rushing in.” The inspiration specifically came from a chance meeting with an expatriate woman. Speaking of the miracle of the capital city overcoming such remarkable odds, the two held hands and Slade reveals “I felt so connected to her. I couldn’t tell if it was her pulse or mine.”
The album was recorded at the legendary Blackbird Studios in Nashville. The Fray was able to hone their sound with the help of producer Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Neil Young). The making of Scars and Stories fostered the most evolution the band has ever experienced, both lyrically and musically. “On our first record, we didn’t quite trust ourselves yet,” says Slade. “We loosened up on the second album, but there was still some element of restraint. But on this one, we just stepped up to plate and swung as hard as we could.”
The Fray is Isaac Slade (pianist/vocalist), Joe King (guitarist/vocalist), Dave Welsh (guitarist), and Ben Wysocki (drummer). The Denver-based foursome formed in 2002 after high school friends Slade and King bumped into each other at a local guitar shop. The band achieved national success with their first single, “Over My Head (Cable Car),” which became a top ten hit in the U.S., and the release of their second single, “How to Save a Life,” brought them worldwide fame.
The Fray Tour Dates
February 16 San Diego, CA House of Blues
February 18 Reno, NV Silvery Legacy Resort Casino
February 20 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
February 21 Redding, CA The Cascade Theatre
February 22 Portland, CA Crystal Ballroom
February 24 Boise, ID Knitting Factory Concert House
February 25 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory Concert House
February 26 Vancouver, BC Orpheum
February 28 Seattle, WA Paramount Theatre
April 11 Providence, RI Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
April 12 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
April 14 Mashantucket, CT MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods
April 17 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre
April 22 Asheville, NC Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
April 24 Louisville, KY Palace Theatre
April 25 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
April 27 Monroe, LA Monroe Civic Center – Univ. of LA
April 28 Dallas, TX Palidium Ballroom
April 29 Austin, TX Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheatre
April 30 Houston, TX House of Blues
May 1 New Orleans, LA Tippitinas Uptown
May 3 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
May 4 St. Augustine, FL St. Augustine Amphitheater
May 8 St. Louis, MO The Pageant
May 11 Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre