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Single Review: Brooke Fraser – ‘Kings and Queens’

2 min read

It’s been a while since we heard from New Zealand songstress Brooke Fraser, four years in fact, but it’s been well worth the wait as the release of her latest single Kings and Queens marks a major shift in musical direction. Recorded in London earlier this year with producer David Kosten (Bat For Lashes, Everything Everything) the single is well and truly steeped in electronic soundscapes and ambient textures, a bold step away from her acoustic Indie-Folk beginnings.

News: Brooke Fraser To Release Brand New Single ‘Kings And Queens’For an artist often described as a singer/songwriter her forthcoming album is set to be hard-hitting with heavy beats, electronic soundscapes and distorted vocals that make use of ominous harmonies and lyrical content. Kings and Queens is no exception to this anticipated standard although it is more upbeat and inspiring than previous taster track Psychosocial.

A skilled creator of interesting grooves and rhythms, Fraser blends beautifully the drums and bass to create an infectious, driving beat that is part 70’s disco part funk and puts her on the same level as fellow groove masters Daft Punk and Sia with their tracks Get Lucky and Clap Your Hands respectively. Her rich vocal tone is never overshadowed by too many effects and her laid back, ever-so-slightly delayed delivery is not unlike that of Frank Ocean or Pharrell Williams. Though the chorus does tend to feel a bit repetitive, the catchiness of the melody makes up for this misgiving and listeners are hooked in by the subtle use of synths, washes of harmony and less than abrasive layerings of 8-bit game sounds.

Interestingly, Kings and Queens is about seeking a sense of identity and striving to find truth in life and Fraser is certainly diving whole-heartedly into this concept. Embarking on a journey of musical exploration she appears to be asking her fans to come along for the ride. Such a major shift in sound could be considered a bold move for an artist but Fraser is still young and quite clearly still evolving. Besides, she does an excellent job of offering her listeners something even more irresistible than the last tasty musical morsel. Make no mistake, fans were warned that things were going to be different and Fraser certainly lives up to her promises.