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.
For the third time here on the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Pauline Frechette, a classically trained vocalist, composer, and lyricist. I’ve repeatedly lauded her work in the past for its emotional strength, musical prowess, and beautiful intimacy. The last release of Frechette’s featured here on the Spotlight, ‘Song For Michael,’ remains one of 2016’s best independent tunes. Now, she’s back with a new single, ‘Come Away With Me.’
Many may be familiar with Frechette under the moniker of Raven Kane, the persona she adopted when she delved into rock and roll. More recently, however, the composer has taken to using her real name again to release classically-infused contemporary works. ‘Come Away With Me’ is her latest entry in that style, with music and lyrics by Frechette and an arrangement by David Campbell.
It’s particularly lovely to hear Frechette croon a stunning ballad after the somber nature of ‘Song For Michael.’ This new single sounds like it’s off the cutting room floor of a Disney recording session - in a good way. ‘Come Away With Me’ has a mystical quality to it… Frechette sings about floating through the air and the composition takes the listener on a journey that makes them feel as if they’re effortlessly floating alongside her.
The ethereal nature of ‘Come Away With Me’ is what makes it such a remarkable recording. The string sections rise and fall around Frechette in a spine-tingling way, and the structure of the song is less traditional, as if Frechette pulled some inspiration from jazz composition. There isn’t obvious repetition of a chorus or a hook: the song is more fluid than that. The tune effortlessly maneuvers the three minute space it resides in.
Lyrically, ‘Come Away With Me’ a splendidly penned ballad that avoids cliches with imaginative charm. Musically, it actually feels somewhat experimental in structure and presentation. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve heard in the independent scene. This is a song that brings Frechette’s catalog to new heights and it’s very much worth giving a spin.