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Classic Tones Meet Contemporary Songwriting in Nick Frater’s New Album ‘Earworms’

By Charlie Maybee

This reading of Alchemical Records content is to provide a multimedia experience for our audience while increasing the accessibility of our content to persons with hearing loss, low vision, dyslexia, physical or motor disabilities, or are on the autism spectrum.

Maryland-based retro pop musician, Nick Frater, is gearing up for the release of his next album titled Earworms, which revisits the classic tones of bands like The Beatles and The Four Seasons in a contemporary context. There are plenty of sing-along hooks that will immediately allure any listener with stacked backing harmonies and sparse, melodic lead guitar lines.

For me, a couple of the standout tracks are the first two songs on the album. “It’s All Rumours” (one of the leading singles) brings the falsetto of Frankie Valli and the folk blues of Bob Dylan to the forefront, while “Buggin’ Out” combines direct references to doo-wap styles of blues music with the deceptive simplicity and scale of the Beatles Abbey Road era. Much like the rest of the songs, Frater is making is comfort music that is distilled to its most pure elements.

As an entire collection, the album has the feel of swimming in a sea of old school rock and rock aesthetics, allowing them to wash over us in a variety of fun and exciting ways. Frater’s collection and rearranging of these classic tones and ideas feel fresh because of the way it reduces the distance between various acts of a specific era and genre in music history. It’s well worth the trip down memory lane to give the whole album a listen.

The leading single and opening track, “It’s All Rumours,” is available on all major streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music. Earworms is available on all major streaming services starting today.

Follow our Alchemical Weekly Spotify Playlist for this and more great music featured on the site.

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Charlie Maybee

Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Winchester, Virginia who currently teaches in the Dance Division of the Shenandoah Conservatory. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression. He also currently fronts local hard rock band, The Aftershakes, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.

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