Just last week I wrote about my friend Frederick Ingram‘s new Christmas jam, “Jesus of Nazareth (Walked into a Bar).” What I didn’t realize is that the tune was a part of a new album—really a double EP—that Frederick has been quietly assembling.
(Note that I’ll refer to Frederick Ingram as “Frederick” here on out, as I know him personally and consider him a friend. I know the standard is to use the artist’s last name in subsequent mentions, and if some big city alternative paper picks up this review, I’ll happily edit it accordingly. For this blog, though, I’m keeping it on a the first-name basis. —TPP)
The record—which drops today!—is Initial Exposure, and it combines tracks from two EPs from earlier this year: June 2021’s Initial Exposure and November 2021’s Culture Exposure (which features the song about Jesus delivering His Message in a hopping nightspot).
I’ll confess that, at the time of writing, I have not listened to all of the ten tracks on the LP (but I did buy it on Bandcamp!), though I have heard several of them before, both live and recorded versions. As such, this post is not a review of the album, per se, but instead a way to help give Initial Exposure some, uh, initial exposure.
In discussing the album with Frederick, he offered some insights into the LP/double EP. According to Frederick,
[Initial Exposure is] actually almost a theme album, like Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly. But instead of a DJ in New Orleans, the central character navigates his way around Columbia, working as a proofreader and sharing his “fresh ink” on the open mic circuit.
Frederick has worked as a transcriptionist, proofreader, and researcher for years, and played frequently in the Columbia, South Carolina area over the past decade, so I am assuming the work is, at least in part, semiautobiographical. From the track list, I recognize “Voltairine,” about a nineteenth-century anarchist feminist; “Lives of the Poets“; “Love the Land“; and “Fish Bowl,” Frederick’s ode to open mics (and, perhaps, the most autobiographical tune on the record).
“Love the Land” is an instant classic, with an airy, catchy chorus (“do you looooooove the land…”), and is typical of some of Frederick’s earlier work, which is very focused on Nature and the natural world.
Indeed, it reminds me of a short EP Frederick released nearly a decade ago, in 2013, also around this time of year: his Elements EP (which Spotify classifies as a single, which is probably more accurate, given the entire record is four tracks). To this day, Elements remains one of my favorites of Frederick’s releases. I remember gigging with him a couple of times during the late fall/early winter of 2013, and at one point purchasing four or five copies to give to friends and family.
But I digress. Frederick also told me that he recorded the entire LP on iPhones and iPads, using GarageBand. He tells me that using those devices and GarageBand “made recording much more manageable for me.”
Had he not told me, I would have assumed he was recording in a professional studio on high-end equipment and software. Indeed, I was apparently fooled by the smooth, groovy bass in “Jesus of Nazareth (Walked into a Bar)“—it’s not an actual bass at all, but a soft synth!
There is one rather oddball track on the LP, “Carousel,” which I think is about the depraved modern dating scene, in which modern floozies ride the so-called “c*ck carousel“—a pretty red-pilled bit of a satire. It reminds me a bit of my own song, “Ghostly,” which is also a somewhat atonal adventure in 3/4 time with lots of creepy carnival vibes, though my song is more about a man going mad from the ghosts of a past relationship—or something. You can watch the somewhat disturbing music video for “Carousel” below:
I have a good bit of driving coming up for the holidays, and I am excited to listen to Initial Exposure—freshly downloaded from Bandcamp!—as I drive. I’ve been immersing myself in Elements quite a bit lately, too.
Show Frederick some love. Here is where you can find Initial Exposure:
- Soundcloud (at the time of this writing, the two separate EPs are uploaded, but not the full LP)
- Spotify (hopefully it will be live by the time you read this post; if not, check out his other stuff!)
There are probably lots of other places the record will show up, and Frederick has physical copies coming in, too (how about throw one my way, buddy); I’ll provide updates about where the LP can be found, or how to obtain a physical copy, as I get them from Frederick.