Frames Is Out Now.
Washington, DC reminds me of Fugazi and Philadelphia reminds me of Will Smith. This really has nothing to do with indie rock band Queue other than their members also hail from DC and Philly. Frames, their debut EP, seamlessly melds dry indie rock with warm electronics and a singer somewhere between Florence Welsh and Elena Tonra (Daughter).
We sat down with the band and they took us through each of the tracks on the EP. Somehow this involved Frankenstein.
1. Falling Into Skies
Aida: The basic structure for this song (chord progression and lyrics) was written very quickly. Without going into too much detail or analysis, the song is supposed to be from the perspective of a friend of mine that had a bad habit they couldn’t quit. There’s a certain level of helplessness when you find something you like that isn’t good for you; and the addiction to that temporary satisfaction is what this song is about.
Olivia: This is one of those songs that got totally Frankenstein-ed in the studio. We went in with 5.5-minute demo and came out with something actually digestible, haha. What is now the bridge used to be a super long intro build-up. We were really looking to produce the song in a way that would allow for it to have mysterious quality. There’s a lot of syncopated guitar and driving percussion, but to keep it airy and light, we sought out dark synth textures and a lot of vocal reverb.
This is one of two songs that was written through and through by Tyler, so we can really only talk about the song from a production standpoint. Tyler, our former male vocalist, had the demo for this song where it was just the synth arpeggiator and vocals. This is probably the biggest pop moment on the entire EP, and we approached it from a different place than the other tracks. Guitars and synths were added to that basic arpeggiator and vocal skeleton that really cemented that moody pop sound you hear.
Olivia: Some people have deemed this “electro-folk?” Weird. Anyway, Steve, Aida, and I wrote this together after a long night of partying, like the rockstars we are (or something.) The guitar progression is actually lifted from an older demo of ours that we were jamming to. All the parts were written in one night, using my old Casio keyboard’s “Trance/Dance” beats.
I wrote the lyrics later, while I was alone and sad and drinking wine. Basically, the song is about feeling at odds with yourself – feeling detached from the version of yourself you always loved and feeling incapable of ever getting back to that point. One word answer? Identity-crisis.
Steve: This is the song we experimented with the most in-studio. Originally, we went in thinking we would pretty much just re-track the demo, as is – synthetic beats and all – but after tracking everything, we realized it was missing punch and uniformity to the other songs we’d recorded. That’s when we opted to mix in live drums with the electro-kit.
Aida: This one originated as an instrumental demo with a ton of guitar layers, and the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus sketched out. The vocal melodies and lyrics went through many iterations and was definitely one of our most collaborative efforts. There’s a darker element here vocal-wise that we had a lot of fun playing with. The outro, which really came together in the studio, is one of my favorite parts we’ve ever done. The drums also do some amazing stuff here (Steve told me to say that.)
Steve: (No, I did not tell Aida to say that.)
This is the simplest song we have on the EP. It was completely written by Tyler, from the guitar to the vocals. It’s truly a breath-taking song, but since it’s such a personal one to him, we don’t feel it’s our place to speak to what the lyrics mean.
We didn’t want to produce the song too much – we actually came very close to putting it out as a lo-fi home-recorded piece. We thought that keeping it stripped down would not only contrast the rest of the EP nicely, but it would emphasize the intimacy of the lyrics.
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