Piano Piano 2 47d25991 thumbnail 1024

Jeremiah Fraites – Piano Piano 2 (Mercury KX / Dualtone Records)

Fans of Jeremiah Fraites’s band, The Lumineers, would have been taken aback by his intimate solo debut, Piano Piano, upon its release in January 2021. It was worlds away from the folksy Americana to which we’d become accustomed, stripped to the bare bones with little but his upright to soundtrack – and perhaps brighten up – the gloom of the lockdown period.

This new record keeps that centrepiece piano – well, actually several of them – but goes full-on cinematic, huge sounding in places, to the extent that sometimes it feels like Ludovico Einaudi and Vangelis have formed a supergroup and decided they want to write a ‘stadium’ album.

To that end, the sentimentality is ramped up from the very beginning, as ‘Ghosts‘ makes great use of its emotive strings, before the innocent voices of children paint a vision of a carefree summertime on the following ‘Spirals‘, a gorgeous track that ends abruptly and unexpectedly, a moment that is as brilliant as it is surprising.

It may come as something of a revelation to some folk, too, that Fraites is a huge fan of Radiohead, and as a result of that fandom, Piano Piano 2 ends with a quite haunting version of the OK Computer classic ‘No Surprises‘ featuring the inimitable vocal talents of Gregory Alan Isakov. The pair more than do it justice and it sounds enormous. Do you remember how effective Pixies‘ ‘Where Is My Mind?‘ was at the end of David Fincher‘s ‘Fight Club‘? Well, I reckon if any film director worth their salt picked up on this interpretation, they could have a very fruitful finale on their hands!

Of course, there are still many other compositions before that on Piano Piano 2, from the stirring ‘Champagne‘, through the Joni Mitchell circa Blue meanderings of ‘Rio‘, the pretty little flourishes of ‘Extra Lives‘ and the evocative, self-explanatory ‘Snow Falling‘, it’s quite striking really.

So ignore the ‘stadium’ reference I made earlier, after all, a rock album it most definitely is not, but it could easily soundtrack an independent arthouse flick, and it wouldn’t be the greatest of stretches to envisage some of these pieces making it into the Classic FM Hall Of Fame‘s yearly rundown at some point in the not too distant future. A lovely, therapeutic, relaxing album indeed.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.