Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Melburnian singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Fractures reflects on the impact of Fred again..‘s 2021 album, ‘Actual Life (April 14 – December 17 2020)’.
Fractures – real name Mark Zito – has entered a new sonic era with the announcement of his forthcoming album Shift (out June 2023). The project’s latest single ‘Medium’ showcases Fractures’ electronic era, harnessing inspiration from UK house music to create a sound reminiscent of Radiohead crossed with RÜFÜS DU SOL. Listen below.
Fractures’ Love Letter to Fred again..’s Actual Life
Fractures: I stumbled upon him at what felt like late in the game: his first live session on YouTube in that apartment looking over the Thames. I’m a skipper with music – I don’t really take it in, I just get an idea of what I like of it and work up to listening to it as a whole, and this was no different.
And then ‘Julia (deep diving)’ came on. It was just the perfect combination of all the things I like in music. I’m a sucker for earnest, heart-aching instrumentals that somehow uplift you. I enjoy straddling that line myself, and this kind of encapsulated it, so I wound back to the top of the tune and listened to it. And then again. You get the idea. It was pretty instantaneous.
I even think I’d heard ‘Marea (we’ve lost dancing)’ beforehand but it just didn’t land as immediately. So I probed further, wanting to find out who this guy was, how he did what he did, who these people were in his songs and how I could emulate some of that weight his songs seemed to carry in my own way, having just finished my own electronic album, and beginning work on the follow-up tunes while the admin side of things took over to get it released.
I should preface this by saying, I’m not an album guy. Never have been. I’m not even sure I’ve listened to this album back to front at any stage, at least not in one sitting. I doubt I ever will, but I can reach for certain songs at certain times when I need them. Seems to be something for every context.
I think what I liked most about it is how UK it sounded to me, whether or not that actually means anything isn’t for me to say, but it just made me feel like I was in London, and that shaped the way I approached making music from that point of view. It’s almost textural, something about the earthiness of the sounds even though they’re coming out of synthesizers or plug-ins, and it places me in a space in my mind when I listen.
I won’t even pretend that I enjoy every song on the album – that’s rare for even my most favourite – but it’s what it represented for me, sonically, and the emotions it draws out. Something about the janky, chopped up samples, things being more or less entirely in the digital realm as far as the creation goes, and it still seeming so human, is something I latched on to.
Maybe just the overall pensiveness of it struck me most. As always, I’m sure I was in the midst of existential pondering when it came through – about my place in the world and all of that. And despite what the songs might be about, I repurposed them in my own head to suit my situation and they kind of helped alleviate that weight, if only temporarily. That’s something I want to do for people.
There’s the reward of writing and finishing a song, but then there’s the aftermath when someone takes the time to tell you how it helped them, or moved them, and that’s kind of the ultimate payoff. So I’d like to take that away from it and you can be the judge with what comes next.