James Keyes is an artist whose music defies easy categorization. Blending rock’n’roll, indie-pop, blues, and country into a seamless whole, New Frequency Response oscillates hypnotically between tension and release. An enchanting melodic journey, New Frequency Response defies easy categorization – and is all the better for it.
Before the official release tomorrow, Keyes has dropped New Frequency Response exclusively here. Keyes said about the album, “At its heart, it’s an escapist album. It was written during the plague years when everything outside was bleak, but I didn’t want to wallow in that with these songs. They’re all stories about characters at different points in their journey trying to escape the present and transcend the negativity around them.
Also, it just fucking rocks.”
New Frequency Response were written deep in the woods of central Massachusetts during the prior presidential administration and recorded during the pandemic. With the world shut down and quarantining, Keyes turned the barn outback into a makeshift studio. “All the guest musicians were sent a rough draft of their track and we just swapped files” he explains. “The reality of the situation is probably what gave the album a harder and slightly claustrophobic sound.”
Mixed by Spike Katz at Mobile Mic Studios Providence R, the record features performances from Katz (bass), Chris Barret (trumpet), Jonah Sacks (cello), Penelope Alizarin Conley (guitar), Amy Levine (fiddle), Gracie Day (vocals), and current The Voice contestant Cara Brindisi (vocals). It was recorded and produced by Keyes, with additional mixing and mastering by Roger Lavalle at Wachusett Recording Studio in Princeton MA.
What Keyes and his compatriots created in New Frequency Response is a record that charts creatives as they navigate a world in turmoil, lifted by compelling dynamics, ever-shifting sonic layers, and odd rhythms and time signatures. A New Frequency Response, indeed.