First Listen: Fraea, 'Bend Your Bones'

Fraea
Fraea's debut EP, Bend Your Bones, releases April, 29, 2016. (Nick Gallop / Courtesy of the artist)
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Trouble
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| 04:10
  • Trouble 04:10
  • Criminal 03:54
  • Awake 03:43
  • Caves 03:42
  • Shore 04:35
  • Sove 03:57

Even hundreds of years after losing mainstream status, Norse mythology still holds pop culture clout. A certain Chris Hemsworth character might be the most obvious proof, but there's a pop duo in Minneapolis adding to the equation. Singer/songwriter Jessie Daley (Roma di Luna) and producer Drew Preiner call their new band Fraea, an homage to the Norse goddess Freyja. This month, the pair are dropping their first EP.

Bend Your Bones, out April 29, is six songs of dreamy, beat-driven pop. Like the pink-yellow-blue wax two-thirds through a car wash, it's sweet-smelling and slick; it feels loose and careful at once.

After standout track "Trouble" opens the EP, lead single "Criminal" feels like Dido over mellow synths, and "Awake" (its chorus in particular) ups the project's energy. "Caves" moves listeners into a simmer, and Purity Ring fans might gravitate toward "Shore," as it takes some cues from the Canadian duo's another eternity. The project wraps up with spacey instrumental track "Sove."

In a photo by Lucas Shanks, a handwriting-blanketed notebook page shows the band's early brainstorming. On it, they described their sound as "woven," "minimalist," and "slippery"; "John Hughes" also made it onto the page, which makes sense considering the synths' prom-dance poof.

Even as goddesses go, Freyja is downright mystical. She's a warrior-priestess associated with love, attraction, beauty, and war, and she's powerful in her femininity. The band Fraea achieves a similar potency in Bend Your Bones, a can't-be-tamed project full of tranquil sounds.

Fraea celebrate the release of Bend Your Bones at Icehouse on Saturday, April 30 with Andrew Broder.

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  • Fraea
    Bend Your Bones album art (Courtesy of the artist)