We’re all just spinning in circles of time and space. Indie pop band Frederick the Younger lasso various transitory states and tensions of the heart on their upcoming new EP. Across six songs, the Louisville-based band -- of Jenni Cochran, Aaron Craker, Shelley Anderson and Meg Samples -- seeks for something real and dissects such issues as regret, love, letting go and social media’s sharp stranglehold on human connectivity.
Producer Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne) couples the vivid, visceral lyrics and equally-emotive arrangements with a slick, yet dreamy, quality. And it’s never at the expense of the innately imposing stories. Lead single “Back to the Wall” untangles the push and pull of a relationship that’s undergoing an inner struggle. “You could say you love me / But you leave me with my back to the wall,” Cochran casts off her frustrations as a snake shedding its skin.
Their willingness to be so vulnerable serves as the EP’s foundation. “Erased,” featuring Craker’s magnetic, raw vocal, and “Deepest Blue” are other sterling highlights, the latter witnessing Cochran hitting an emotional rock bottom and writing a song about it. “One of my emotions that I dislike the most is when I get in this space of regret. I hate regretting things I’ve done, and I know when I’m in that space that I shouldn’t be doing that. I waste time, and I get carried away,” she says of the song.
Cochran and Craker are not only the creative core of the band, but they complete each other on a deeply personal level. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Cochran grew up writing songs, yet never played them out. She initially had ambitions to go to school for anthropology, and after participating in an overseas program, in conjunction with Princeton University, teaching in Mai Conga Delta in Vietnam, she returned to the states with full intentions to get her doctorate. She relocated to Louisville, and a two-month stay turned into a permanent move when she met Craker during an improv class.
On the other end of the spectrum, writing and making music has always been essential to Craker’s whole life. Upon hearing Nirvana for the first time in middle school, his destiny was carved in stone. A Louisville native, his obsession with piano and guitar propelled him to study at the University of Louisville. He later formed a band called Dr. Vitamin, which would be the stepping stone to much bigger things. “We were both what the other person needed. I deeply believe things happen for a reason,” says Cochran.
Dr. Vitamin quickly morphed into a very different beast. With Cochran still writing a bulk of the material, they decided to give the band a bit of an upgrade: changing the name. It was a simple procedure, tossing out various possibilities, before Cochran fell upon Frederick the Younger for it’s almost mystical nature. An album called Human Child arrived in 2017, and even within two years, their musical energy has blossomed into an even more ferocious entity.
Frederick the Younger’s new EP, expected early 2020, positions the band for the next level. Such volatile moments as “High Alone” and “Something Real,” another soul-tearing performance, confirm their undeniable talents in harvesting the most intense of human experiences.
The first single from the EP, “Back to the Wall,” will be released on 9/26/19 via sonaBLAST! Records.
Photo by: Anna Lee Roeder