The Get Togethers – Home As In Houston album review

Great music can help us through some truly trying times. Even in some of our bleakest moments, having such a pure emotional outlet to hold onto can act as a sort of beacon, illuminating a strength in ourselves we never knew existed. This acts inversely as well. As musicians create, they pull from within themselves to overcome immense existential trials.

Such is the case for Nashville, Tennessee-based The Get Togethers’ debut record, Home As In Houston. Released on September 24th, the group marries indie rock and pop with a finely tuned ear. On top of tight musicianship and infectious melodies, Bethany Gray Frazier’s tumult of an adolescence is the basis of the entire LP.

The listener is taken back to the year 2007. Then seventeen, Bethany Gray becomes romantically involved with one of her teachers. The police investigations and court hearings that would follow alienated her from her peers, an almost impossibly real turn of events that led to a devastating high-speed car collision, marking the end of this chapter of her life. Each track on Home As In Houston is named for one month of the year, describing the events that transpired in each month. Acting almost as a diary, the album trudges through heartbreak, loss and desolation, narrated by Gray Frazier herself. The lyrics are dense, with an overwhelming capacity for lovelorn catharsis, but are delivered plainly. It is devastatingly easy to feel exactly what she feels, becoming involved in the story.

Even aside from the loose narrative and obvious thematic elements, Home As In Houston stands strong musically. The standard rock outfit matches the tone of the lyrics almost effortlessly, with practically unforgettable hooks and driving choruses, both complimenting Bethany Gray Frazier’s vocal work and carving out its own path just beneath her dreamy croon.

With the release of the Home As In Houston LP now under their belts, The Get Togethers are planning a full US tour for the fall of 2013. The single, “June,” can be streamed on the band’s SoundCloud page while the record hits digital and select brick-and-mortar stores. The Get Togethers have truly set a high bar for themselves and their brand of indie pop.

Lullaby For The Passersby

Los Angeles bloggers hail Frankel as one of the city’s best kept secrets. The man behind the music reveals the story behind the name. Fans of Wilco, Elliott Smith, and The Flaming Lips take note of Lullaby For The Passersby.

“Absolutely an artist to watch out for in 2007.” – Aquarium Drunkard

“Lullaby For The Passersby is going to remind you of a lot of great bands but never borrows a single lick. Frankel’s songwriting holds its ground because there are so many quirky bits stapled to the melodies without ruining the feel. For an album that is so refreshing, I’m dumbfounded that a city ‘buzzing’ with multitudes of forgettable indie-pop-folk bands hasn’t discovered Frankel’s obvious musical talent.” – Little Radio

Frankel’s first full length Lullaby For The Passersby is a shimmering listen that has bloggers buzzing with excitement about the promising Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter. If record reviews show any indication of what is in store for Frankel, otherwise known as Michael Orendy, he will soon be hailed nationally as one of the city’s most promising acts. Lullaby For The Passersby was mixed by Aaron Espinoza of Earlimart and mastered by Dave Trumfio (Wilco, Grandaddy, Built To Spill) fame and will be released on producer Raymond Richards’ Red Rockets Glare label.

Orendy himself played all of the instruments on Lullaby, from the Theremin to the Twirly Whirly. Aside from being a multi-instrumentalist, Orendy also proves his talent through his songwriting. “Wilco, Elliott Smith, and hints of The Flaming Lips shine through on Frankel’s debut album, Lullaby for the Passerby”, says Little Radio.

As for the unusual name Orendy chooses to record under, it refers to a piece of orthodontia he had to wear when he was young. According to Orendy, it was “a giant retainer that filled your whole mouth-huge, kind of like what a boxer wears in the ring”. Orendy embraced his Frankel into his adulthood and made it his nom-de-tune. The name suits Orendy’s music perfectly, as it turns out. Because, like the apparatus he was fated to don, his songs strive to make lemonade out of life’s lemons.

Frankel is supporting Lullaby For The Passersby with a round of hometown dates followed by a US tour later in 2007.

Frankel Live:

06/16 Los Angeles, CA Sea Level Records
06/18 Glendale, CA – The Scene
06/20 Live Performance on Little Radio

06/26 Hollywood, CA – Boardner’s

07/09 Los Angeles, CA The Echo

07/13 Live on KXLU, Los Angeles

07/19 Los Angeles, CA Tangier

Lullaby For The Passersby Tracklisting:

Release date: June 12th, 2007

01. Thermostat (MP3)

02. Tooth Decay (MP3)

03. Dressed in Uniform

04. X Marks the Spot

05. New Authority

06. Found Out

07. Previous Life

08. Red Part of Town

09. Lullaby

10. Curtain Calls

11. Becoming You