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Mike Frazier Premieres New Song “Wedding Day” via Bad Copy “Where The Valley Kissed The Sky” Due Out 05/31 via Geneva Records

May 11, 2019
photo credit: Brett Ballachino

Mike Frazier Premieres New Song “Wedding Day”
via Bad Copy

Where The Valley Kissed The Sky
Due Out 05/31 via Geneva Records

Preorders Available Now

Announces U.S. Tour Dates

Singer/songwriter and Virginia native, Mike Frazier, recently announced his upcoming sophomore full-length, Where The Valley Kissed The Sky, due out May 31st from Geneva Records. Frazier has teamed with Bad Copy to share the album’s second single “Wedding Day.” Where The Valley Kissed The Sky finds Frazierpainting an immensely human portrait of life in the Shenandoah Valley, exploring the everyday desperation, joy, and complexity of this corner of the country with care, critique, and compassion. And “Wedding Day” is a perfect example of Frazier‘s natural ability to blend storytelling, social commentary, and personal moments into rich Americana sonics and a touch of punk grit. 


http://www.genevarecords.com/merch/mikefrazierpreorder


Following Frazier‘s 2017 debut LP, Elegy (A-F Records), Where The Valley Kissed The Sky was engineered by Erik Romero (The Gaslight Anthem, The Front Bottoms, Beach Slang) and strikes a delicate balance between anthemic and intimate. The record is a vivid observation of a community shaken by economic strife, the opioid epidemic, and an American dream that’s no longer feasible. While desperation is a common thread onWhere The Valley Kissed The Sky, there is also an undeniable hopefulness, andFrazier pulls the listener further into these stories with hooks as big as the ideas with which his lyrics wrestle. 

Following Frazier‘s 2017 debut LP, Elegy (A-F Records), Where The Valley Kissed The Sky was engineered by Erik Romero (The Gaslight Anthem, The Front Bottoms, Beach Slang) and strikes a delicate balance between anthemic and intimate. The record is a vivid observation of a community shaken by economic strife, the opioid epidemic, and an American dream that’s no longer feasible. While desperation is a common thread onWhere The Valley Kissed The Sky, there is also an undeniable hopefulness, andFrazier pulls the listener further into these stories with hooks as big as the ideas with which his lyrics wrestle. 

Mike Frazier will be on tour throughout the year in support of Where The Valley Kissed The Sky, see full itinerary below.

Where The Valley Kissed The Sky track list:
1. Southern Decay
2. Wedding Day
3. Save Me
4. Lilac Glow
5. Destitute
6. Stay The Same
7. Summer Rain
8. Old Rag Hole
9. Farewell, Annie

Tour Dates:
5/11 Harrisonburg, VA @ Brothers Craft Brewing
5/18 Sheperdstown, WV @ Domestic (with Roger Harvey and Minks Miracle Medicine) 
6/4 Nashville, TN @ 5Spot 
6/5 Richmond, VA @ The Dark Room 
6/13 Woodstock, VA @ Woodstock Brewhouse
6/14 Richmond, VA @ Cary St. Cafe 
6/15 Winchester, VA @ Bright Box Theater
6/20 Asbury Park, NJ @ APYC 

Biography:
Music, like the people who make it, is often a product of location. But for singer-songwriter and Virginia native Mike Frazier, that location is inextricable from his sophomore album,Where The Valley Kissed The Sky. Across nine tracks of dynamic Americana, Frazier paints an immensely human portrait of life in the Shenandoah Valley, and explores all the everyday desperation, joy, and complexity of this corner of America with care, critique, and compassion. 

Born into a family of musicians and artists, Frazier was imbued with an appreciation for the arts at a very early age. “I was raised on CCR, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young — the first time I remember registering music was my mom blasting John Fogerty in the garage,” the 24-year-old recalls. The impact of these legends sparked his desire to play music, but it was his discovery of punk rock as a teenager that led him to pick up a guitar and start writing songs. “I sort of skipped really learning how to play guitar,” Frazier laughs. “Once I learned a few chords all I wanted to do was write my own songs.” After spending time in various bands and moving around Virginia, Frazier struck out on his own and began to find his voice as a solo songwriter. Drawing on everything from the widescreen romanticism of Bruce Springsteen to the socially conscious urgency of The Clash, his sound developed across a handful of smaller releases leading up to his 2017 debut full-length, Elegy. After touring heavily around the record, he settled in Harrisonburg, a college town in central Virginia that would become the jumping off point for Where The Valley Kissed The Sky

In between tours Frazier began working on a farm outside of the city and soon became deeply interested in life in the Shenandoah Valley, seeing it as a microcosm of the vast span of community and cultural differences that make up America. Frazier explains, “Harrisonburg is a very progressive town but you travel in any direction away from it and suddenly you’re in rural Virginia and things are very different. Spending so much time in these rural areas was really inspiring and it got me interested in centering the album around the Valley and how the area shapes the people in it.” The resulting album is Frazier’s most narrative work to date: a loose concept record that follows characters dealing with the realities of a rapidly changing culture, impacted by poverty, addiction, social unrest, and uncertainty. “I tried to be more observational with my songwriting, to tell these stories with no ulterior motives, and also to emphasize that this isn’t just happening in Virginia, it’s a struggle that’s all across the country.”

Where The Valley Kissed The Sky opens with Frazier confidently leaning into his Americana influences on “Southern Decay,” a subdued mission statement set to acoustic guitar and pedal steel. The song encapsulates the album’s scope and paints a vivid picture of a community shaken by economic strife and the opioid epidemic: desperate people, some looking to place blame, all looking for relief. “Wedding Day” and “Save Me” follow, juxtaposing stories of marriage and death, of young people in the Valley trying to make the best of an American dream that’s no longer feasible for their generation. Both tracks exemplify Frazier’s distinct knack for housing melancholic storytelling in undeniable hooks, pulling the listener further into the world with choruses as big as the ideas with which his lyrics wrestle. 

Engineered by Erik Romero (The Gaslight Anthem, The Front Bottoms, Beach Slang), Where The Valley Kissed The Sky sonically strikes a delicate balance between anthemic and intimate. On “Stay The Same,” lush twelve-string guitar and warbling organ swells meet overdriven strums — the driving track perfectly capturing Frazier’s love of heartland rock uplift and punk grit, while its lyrics reject the trap of age, comfort, and stability contorting into complacency, selfishness, and judgement. Elsewhere Frazier utilizes minimal accompaniment to emphasize the vulnerability or despair of his characters–like the unadorned guitars of “Old Rag Hole,” which lay bare the sense of paranoia that can spring from economic disparity, the desperation to protect what little you have and the misplaced anger that springs from it. But perhaps the most visceral song on Where The Valley Kissed The Sky is “Destitute,” a mid-album standout that grapples with the horror of the 2017 right wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Frazier plainly recounts the blatant hatred on display as well as the bravery of those who stood against it, a sobering reminder of the all-too-real consequences of a malignancy festering unchecked in America.

Where The Valley Kissed The Sky never turns away from the pain of its often challenging subject matter, but Frazier still looks for hope in the darkness. Amongst the desolation there are moments of unabashed joy like “Summer Rain” or “Lilac Glow,” which remind us of the universal experiences of love and longing that still exist amongst all the strife. Above all, Where The Valley Kissed The Sky aims to depict the resilience of the human spirit. Frazier explains, “A lot of this record is about how society has devalued the human being and teaches us to rely on institutions to save us. People are being told to look to politicians, or preachers, or businessmen, to buy into rhetoric to solve their problems. But you don’t have to believe what you’re being told.” Closing track “Farewell, Annie” revisits many of the album’s recurring characters, when they’ve grown older and changed, and some have even made it out of the Valley. “The idea of ‘getting out’ isn’t so much literal as it’s meant to represent finding some sort of peace and finding it within yourself,” Frazier says. “You’re worth more than you’re being sold.”

www.facebook.com/MikeFrazierVA

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