Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this afternoon’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Pauline Frechette, a well respected pianist and composer who has released a number of compelling, emotional singles in the last year. Since we first explored her music here on the Spotlight in July of 2016, the performer previously known as Raven Kane amongst rock fans has continued to blossom into new sonic territory with each release.
Her most recent release, ‘Always Lovers,’ features “David,” but doesn’t make a clear distinction of what his contribution is or who he is. I suspect, however, that Frechette’s release includes a collaborative effort with her husband, David Campbell, the famed composer and father of Beck. Campbell has worked extensively on Frechette’s music in the past, too, and the arrangements Frechette’s husband has aided her with have been simply remarkable.
‘Always Lovers’ is a sublime listening experience, matching Frechette’s wistful wanderings on the piano with her haunting lead vocals and soft, but lovely orchestrated strings. There’s a unique delicateness to Frechette’s singing; she captures the listener’s attention and leads them on a magical journey. I once referred to Frechette’s music as Disney-esque, and ‘Always Lovers’ is a ballad with that same starry-eyed nature.
“Hold me in your arms tonight, til’ the early dawn,” she sings. “Older than the universe, this love of ours goes on.” The lyrics of ‘Always Lovers’ are touching in a very personal way, making the song an effort that sounds like it’s straight out of the Great American Songbook. Frechette’s intimate performance makes that material so poignant. If you listen closely, you can even hear her softly breathing into the microphone.
The masterful performance and composition are aided by an equally strong production. The recording sounds relatively untouched; I doubt there was much post-production fiddling. It’s true and honest: authentic. There are so few artists of Frechette’s caliber in the independent music scene today recording this type of music, and thus, ‘Always Lovers’ is as much of a joy to listen to as the songwriter’s previous releases. Frechette just keeps getting more captivating with each new release.