But today, I wanted to look back at one of his older songs, from Frederick’s Elements. This single/EP has always held a warm place in my heart. I remember playing some Christmastime gigs with Frederick when he released this little recording, and I still find it enjoyable.
It’s not just nostalgia for younger, slimmer days and more musically ambitious times. It’s a good recording. The lead-off single, “Carolina Sands,” is a highly listenable song about the beauty of South Carolina. But for all of its radio-friendly qualities, I find it is now my least favorite track on the release (which, to be clear, does not mean it is a bad song—it’s very good!).
That distinction likely goes to “Yesterday’s Weather.” The track features Frederick’s characteristically enigmatic songwriting and ability to craft hypnotic grooves against naturalistic metaphors.
It’s a song about lost love, all framed in terms of hot (or cold?) fronts and currents:
I highly recommend listening with good headphones; it really captures the sonic subtleties of the piece, as well as the droning, persistent bass line.
I don’t think The Columbia Beet still airs, which is unfortunate. It featured South Carolina indie musicians, giving them the opportunity to play live on the air on Friday afternoons from 4-6 PM. The guest musicians would play, and the DJs would interview them.
I had the opportunity to play The Columbia Beet back in May 2015, when I was on the cusp of releasing my Contest Winner EP release. The DJs, Michael and Joshua, were longtime veterans of the show (I believe that Michael was one of those guys who basically made a career out of being a college radio show DJ, which is an impressive feat; I found out later he was nearly in his forties at the time, but I thought he was in his twenties!). They were huge advocates for local music, and if I am correct that the show is now defunct, it’s a real shame.
But I digress. I’m glad Frederick has this recording from that possibly-now-defunct radio program. It gives the listener a rawer, more acoustical alternative to the slick recorded version.
Which do you prefer? Which local musicians do you enjoy?