Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Album vs. The Single


The Album Vs. The Single

I apologize that I’ve been a bit under the radar lately, especially with blogging.  I will try to keep you more up to date, I promise!  When I get in “album writing” mode, it gets hard for me to pay attention to anything else really.  (Something I am working on, because I don’t think it’s very healthy!)  

I was in my car the other day, playing some of my music for a new friend that was new to my tunes, and as we were chugging along CA-2 Glendale North, he said, “That’s a nice song.” (Trapeze).  Then “Billy the Kid” came on, and he said, “Woah.  I didn’t know you did dance music.....When did this album come out?”

You see, therein lies my problem.  “Trapeze” and “Billy the kid” are on the same album, my dear friend.

Don’t get me wrong, my latest album, RED, is very dear to me.  (However, for those of you who know me from The Voice, and think I am just “starting out,” no, no no, no. RED is my NINTH album out, if you count the EP’s and Live CD’s.   I have been doing this for a long while).  

RED was created very quickly.  We wanted a late winter release, and I was ready to work and write my butt off for it.  (Yeah, I just said butt.  I’m from Utah).  I got to work with a lot of very talented people that I really looked up to:  Foster the People, Isabella Summers from Florence & the Machine, Hodges, David H., John Mayor’s talented guitar player, Kid Cudi, (the fabulous) Blake Shelton, and the list goes on.  

However, when working with so many different people who come from so many different genre’s, you end up with what I ended up with:  An album I am very proud of, but still, a very incohesive, somewhat scatter-brained one at that.  There’s a track with Kid Cudi and I, “Don’t kick the Chair,” and then a track like “Daniel,” that is just myself and an acoustic guitar.  Then there’s the heavenly, ethereal, “Hearts out to dry,” next to a country/pop ballad called, “I will.” 

In my mind at the time, I was just writing and writing and writing, and at the end of the day, for the album RED, I simply sat down, listened to the (60+) songs I had written, and picked - simply - the ones I thought were the best.  Period.  The album then went on to be produced, not by one producer, like I was used to in my days of being in a band, but by almost a different producer for every single track, lending to the lack of unity in the album.

(Again, don’t get me wrong.  I love RED, and am very proud of it.  I am grateful to all the INCREDIBLE writers, musicians, producers, and mixers I got to work with and am working with some of them again; However, the album is not necessarily an album in my eyes, but a collection of songs.)  

When I put on a Bon Iver album, I fall asleep almost instantly. (I mean that in a good way).  That entire album flows from one song to the next, and it always puts me in a half-asleep dream land.  

When I put on “Babel” by Mumford and Sons, I am transported to a foot stomping, hand clapping paradise, filled with banjo, quick-strumming guitars, and a heavy amount of kick drum.  That album flows from song to song so well, you can barely blink when the song changes.  It’s a story.

Tom Petty’s “Wild Flowers,” one of my favorite albums of all time, is an entire hour of well done lyrics, beautiful guitar lines, and a crooning Petty voice I’ve come to absolutely adore.  It’s a full hour of perfect Americana and Rock n’ roll.

When I’m going to the gym, and need something to pump me up, it’s Lady Gaga all the way.  I absolutely love her dance records, (and her voice live is something amazing).

So, what is all this rambling leading up to?

The Album Vs. The Single

In this musical era, I feel like it’s all about The Single.  

Do we have that ONE BIG song?

Why not fill an album up with all singles?!

Well, you can if you’d like.

But this next venture for me, as I’m writing now, is 100% all about THE ALBUM.  

It’s been very hard for me because.....I like almost all music genres.  I mean, seriously, I like all of them.  I absolutely adore folk music; Anything with a mandolin...awwwww.  I love pop music.  I love country music.  (I used to yodel as a kid at the Utah Rodeo.  I mean, come on!)  I love Americana.  I love dance records.  I love electronic records.  I love simple acoustic singer-songwriter records.  

And I love writing all of it, (or attempting to).  

I have hundreds of songs that I’ve written all stored away on my computer.  The other day, my friend Ben and I got a little crazy and wrote a rap song together!  Not kidding!  (And it’s not the first time).  

So as you can see, it’s hard for me to stay focused on one style, because I love and appreciate so many of them.

However, I am going to stay focused this time on THE ALBUM.  

And I can promise you, hopefully soon, a new album, that is not a collection of songs, not a collection of singles, but a story, that will flow seamlessly from one song to the next.  

I’m going to save my rap songs and country songs and dance songs for side projects or something!  :) 

I cannot wait to bring you guys the next Dia Frampton ALBUM, and I am forever grateful to you all for being so supportive, patient, and amazing.  All your tweets, facebook posts, and chats, have never failed to brighten up my day.

Hoping to see you soon at a show! :)

XO

Dia

34 comments:

  1. I understand exactly what you say about album vs. single. These days, songs are sold online, individually, and the concept of an album is being forgotten. A lot of artists put together a collection of songs, and not albums. Personally, I think both ways work just fine. RED, that I love so much, it's a great collection. It's amazing! Like yourself, I enjoy all kinds of music genre, and RED is great because of that. It's a delight to feel so much different emotions compiled in one CD. But the classic concept of an album is something that excites me too! I'm sure you're going to create a great story to tell us in your next ALBUM! ;) Love, from Brazil! Heitor

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  2. right on sista, Im glad you have come to this decision. Especially under the spotlight. But like you said your father warned you not to make friends with the weather, and the pop single storm has definitely attached itself to our culture for good. Im excited to hear what you create from these feelings you have shared!

    Taylor Tremaine (Lorene Drive)

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  3. Dia,
    Love the transparency.You've improved so immensely since I first heard you at Warped Tour in 2007 and those days touring with The Almost and Spill Canvas. Your sincerity has always been "wöw". I can't wait to hear what that signature Dia Frampton sound will be like. Can't wait to see you back in Philly/NJ,
    Corey

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  4. I have to say, I loved Red, I liked tye mix of sings as I thought it refreshing from the full albums which are great don't get me wrong, but I like an album to have a few good stand alones as thouse are great for radio and for giving to a friend for an introduction. Good luck, I will buy it no matter what it ends up being!

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  5. Let's hear that rap single. YouTube it up =)

    speaking of shows, Southern California could always use more Dia Frampton

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  6. Dia! It's nice to have you back.
    I completely agree with you on the album issue.
    An album that lacks a cohesive quality will often seem confused or lacking in identity.
    RED seemed more like a collaboration album as opposed to a debut solo album.
    It was great that you were able to work with so many people, however their musical styles were so evident and overpowering that it felt like I wasn't listening to your music.
    I'm a big fan, and as a fan I want to support YOU, not the people who are collaborating w/ you.
    I'm excited for the new album!
    Have fun writing!

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  7. RED was beautiful, and I see what you mean here. The idea of an album is changing so much. I'm sure your next album will be just as beautiful, perhaps more, because you improve as you age. As long as you continue to do things your way, you'll be fine.
    Stay fine girl,
    Renow13, Canada

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  8. I absolutely loved RED and all you ever put out with the MaD team. Honestly, I think you could make an album with just the repetition of "Hearts out to dry" and I'd love it. As a rock/folk/indie lover, I'm glad to hear you're going to write something really cohesive. I love when I feel like an album really flows (Illuminate by Lydia anyone?)
    Anyway, you're so talented you can make me love dance music, I'm really excited about new music from you!

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  9. "Red" is one of my favorite albums. Listening to it from beginning to end, my first reaction was (and still is) delighted surprise, because I had not heard some of those widely varied styles from you before, and I admired you for it. To me, the album sort of mirrors life: the times when we are encouraging, contemplative, happy, sad, angry, or in a dancing mood. I am not bothered by that aspect of "Red."

    Life experiences can be random and not entirely planned or cohesive, and that's not such a bad thing, because they make us who we are.

    However, I do understand if your goal for this next album is to have the songs build sequentially toward a theme, or maybe to approach a theme from different angles. That's not so different from chapters in a novel.

    Go Dia! I look forward to your upcoming album; maybe I can get it autographed like the last one! :)

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  10. What happened to the "Don't Kick the Chair" music video that was filmed on a New York City highrise rooftop? Was it released?

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  11. Hello Dia if you see this comment, me and my little sister love your songs especially Trapeze. Keep on making new songs and all the success in the future and thank you for all the great music

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  12. Every time I read your blog, or even Facebook posts, I find myself smiling uncontrollably and nodding. I'd call us kindred spirits (but NOT in a creepy way) except for the fact that I've settled into "quiet desperation" mode. Please stay hungry!

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  13. You should have told him "Walk Away". Not that it's on the same album as well, but literally walk away. I know you were driving. Dance music. That's almost as funny as the comment post here with the "stay fine girl" yearbook signing closure. A true and positive statement, of course. You are fine and a girl...well, woman actually (optional "grown ass"). Yeah, so stay that way. Pretty please. A collection of good music, RED is. All different sounds with different feelings. I must admit, I am one of the bitches who cried when realizing Hearts Out to Dry was not on the vinyl release. I take that backs. I ain't no bitch. But forilla, most people will continue to love anything you do simply because of your lovely persona, and side order of goofy. I'm one of them. I also believe that you have potential to become much more. I'm talking some other-worldly, Xanadu shit. Where am I going with this? Let me gather myself. Anyways, it's too late to act like the rebel that don't know your shit in hopes that you will find me mysterious and an attractive escpape from all the googly-eyed fanboys (and girls). I am a fan of you, Science damn it. As for your "new friend"....Carlo! What the...? You haven't even listened to RED in its entirety?!?
    On the straight face tho, I told Meg I was going to make a rap album as last year's New Years resolution. What's today's date? Frack! I need to git on the grind. Looking forward to hearing some ill communications, Dia!

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  15. Well, say what you will about Red, but a year + after it's release and I still listen to the full album at least twice a week ~ one of my all time favorites! Can't wait for the next album!

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  16. Please tell me these pieces of shit that post here get paid. Find a new profession (both the "writer" of this and the "musician", i.e. trained seal they place on stage), I'll do what I can to ruin your career as long as you stay in this one (air horn for the next concert has a nice ring perhaps, and so on; go on a "reality" T.V. show when your career isn't well enough defensed by a mindless mass following and I'll see to it that every effort is taken so that the career will be lost to them. I'm tired of you human feces getting ahead.)! Red was a piece of crap, and if anyone thinks it was a piece of crap written by a singer that was once in another band they really are defective. And with that marketing crap that was pulled during HH&H, primarily that "reality" video garbage that focused on other than production, I hope nothing but the worst comes to those involved, though that almost certainly won't happen. Can't wait to meet the boardies at concerts.

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    1. Quoting you: "Red was a piece of crap, and if anyone thinks it was a piece of crap written by a singer that was once in another band they really are defective."

      Read what you wrote again, Anonymous. You are saying that makes YOU defective, and I agree with you 100%.

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    2. I understand your anger. But things change dude and I can't blame people for going for it. We can't live in the 'something real' era forever.

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    3. I can and I DO blame the shit of the world for "going for it" when the manner in which they go for it is through that of extreme depravity. I'm not saying I would do it (or wouldn't), but I can understand why a starving man would rob, would murder, for food. I can't understand how he could sell himself, how he could truly beg (especially when so many that do start and remain so far from starvation), though those of you seem to have made it now the norm! I could give a damn about 'something real' (Nwuknowme = Now You Know Me; but what is the "game") but I do care that any that choose to walk upright seem to be tending toward economic or other means of extinction by those that live their life slithering in, feeding off of, and contributing to, the refuse of non-existence, yet are thought by so many as royalty, or at least provided finances equivalent to such. If those of "reality" "entertainment" - who make such a mockery of reality, turning it into the most obscene depravity - are to be royalty, then let there be one to make castles crumble.

      Oh, and to that who suggested failed logic on the statement above: conditioned on Red was a piece of crap (which is a pretty safe given); if think Red was crap and if think one from M&D (should have written "another certain band", applied without generality) wrote then defective => if not defective then Red was not crap or one from M&D did not write, but conditioned on Red being crap (again, fairly safe to take as a given) so implies one from M&D did not write. And am I incorrect that there is a stark difference in the appearance of those in M&D from one period to another; makeup, clothing, and physical development across time impact but ... Thank you for making me hate music again, and if I thought there was an ounce of humanity in the shit that resides in Hollywood then perhaps I would even tend towards hating humanity, thank goodness I don't see an ounce of humanity in the crap that is.

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    4. Anonymous,

      I am being completely serious when I write this, so please do not take offense: you are not healthy. You are full of hate and spewing half logics and contradictory statements. Please look into a mental health evaluation at a behavioral or medical facility. They offer a range of alternatives for all individuals, from group and individual counseling, to addressing chemical imbalances and Moral Recognizance Therapies. If you have health insurance it can cover some of these alternatives, and if you are indigent there are still pro bono opportunities at many of these facilities. If you write back with where you live, I can even direct you to an appropriate facility.

      To Dia,

      Loved "Red," can't wait for anything you do to follow it up.

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  17. I loved Red and I know ill love whatever you put out next because you have not disappointed in your previous albums. But please for the love of God put out more YouTube Covers when you get the time. Your covers are truly special.

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  18. I love RED and I think we all do. I really love your voice. can't wait for the next album. love from Malaysia!

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  19. DIA!!!!!!! oh how i missed you writing! thanks for this!!!! and i'm too excited for the next album that's why i'm shouting! lol! i love you!!!

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  20. Hi Dia, I am your fan in Thailand. Very happy everytime when you mention about Tom Petty(and The heartbreakers) as one of your favorite artist. It makes me feel like I am in the same age as you ( admire Tom Petty). Though I am older more than 20 years actually…hahaha. I love 2 favorite albums of Tom Petty which are "Full Moon Fever" and “Wild Flowers”, never get boring to listen. I am an old-fashioned guy who likes to listen music in album or conceptual album in several genres. Glad to know you aim to the same target for your new album , seamless connection of each song in the album. Wow , can’t wait for it.
    In fact 2 years ago, I had never known “The Voice” and Dia Frampton because I have lived in Thailand-my country, not USA. Until I saw the 1st MV “The Broken One-Red” that introduced Dia to me. Your voice is so special and unique that made me trying to find the whole album "Red" not only the single. But I could not find CD album. It might be too early to be available in that time in Thailand. After I had searched more info in internet then I could find and hastened to place orders totally 4 albums related Dia ; one is from Dia "Red" and three are from "Meg&Dia" (Something Real : Here Here Here and Here : Be Careful, I Love You, Stay In Touch Something Real) My orders(CDs) were placed internationally to Amazon USA and other shops and delivered to Thailand. It may be silly to pay unnecessary transportation and had to wait long time for delivery of CD albums, however it’s very worthwhile for me. Wonderful to listen your invaluable musics in whole albums, not just some singles or a collection of hit songs. That is all just to show that your fans support your idea to write the album, not only singles. I adore Dia and Meg&Dia as the talented artists in my mind all the time . Lastly, once you finish and luanch new album pls come to play live in Thailand. We, Thai fans miss you very much

    Smiles,

    John_uofmark

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  21. RED was gorgeous but I totally understand what you mean. Looking forward to hearing the new album! :)

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  22. the thing is, i /love/ the fact that RED was a collection of singles. i don't think i would have love it as much as i do if it was a more like a cohesive album. i love how wide you branched out. i went back to your earlier albums (as i am a new fan) and i discovered that i just couldn't get into them the same way as i did for RED. i hope you still stick to a more pop-y modern sound but still include guitars/acoustics.

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  23. Hi! Could you possibly post an instrumental to Walk Away on youtube or something? I would love to sing the song for my school's pop show, but there are no instrumentals online.

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  24. When you were on The Voice I went online and bought all the Meg and Dia CDs I could. I think my favorite CD that I've heard is Cocoon. When I heard Red for the first time I did feel like the same way you did. It did sound like a lot of singles instead of an album. It made me wonder two things. One thing I wondered was if you were pressured to do certain types of songs by the music company. The second thought was maybe you were able to collaborate with people and that made the styles of each song different. It was interesting to hear your take on the CD. I am an album listener. Even with my mp3 player I always play the full album. I don't think of favorite songs but think of favorite albums I have. I'm looking forward to the new CD. I still liked Red but I will listen to Cocoon much more frequently. Good luck with the recording and I hope you tour across America again soon.

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  27. Happy Birthday

    (just a bit late but hope it was great :)

    (and there's no reason not to celebrate
    every day you're alive so it makes sense to say
    Happy Birthday to you... today and every day :)

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  28. Dia,

    This is gonna be a multiple part comment because I didn't know until I was done it must be under 4,096 characters :(

    I never wrote to you before, but I am a huge fan.. I mean everything about you as an artist and person that I can possibly know or read. I've been following in the shadows and haven't yet commented until now.

    I first found out about you on The Voice and you were my favoirte. Then I started researching you , and was suprised and excited to see you have been doing this for years. And so bought everything I could download from Meg & Dia without even hearing it. What I discovered was so much more than I ever thought I would. I was hooked, and was playing all my favorite songs over and over.. at the gym, in the car, in the house, at work.. the songs would play in my head at the beach.. anywhere. I would read the lyrics online. I was and still am so excited about you.

    Your lyrics are absolutely beautiful, smart, refreshing, thought-provoking, dark and bright. I was reading about your influences for some songs. I went out to the book store looking for a couple - Indiana, which they didn't have, but I bought Rebecca. I am so slow to finish a book, but I'm enjoying the book (in my head I'm picturing you as playing the part of the narrator), only a few chapters left, and bought the movie, and was happy to find out Alfred Hitchcock did it, who I love... ok, way off topic.

    Not sure if you are reading this or not, but I hope you at least get to this part. After reading this blog entry, I see that you as an artist (and music lover) are similar to me as a music listener.. I love all types of music. I'm a music junkee because the more I hear and learn about, the more I want, and expand my collection. And it's not just every genre, but every decade. And you are influencing me, with your influences.

    I remember reading comments somewhere (maybe iTunes) when people were hating on the fact that you made a track with Kid Cudi (because those people don't like rap).. It annoys me when people who stick to loving one genre turn their nose up on the polar opposite of that genre. I think it's amazing and great that you can find purpose and quality in many types of music. You are 3 dementional, and multi-talented and that's what I love about you.

    I was sitting at work and you popped in my head, so I was reading about you on Wikipedia to see if there was an update about you coming out with an album. It said you hoped to have one out by late 2013. After another google search, I found this blog. I am so excited to know that you are working on one, and I know it's going to be something I love just because it is by you.

    Red was great and served it's purpose I think. It was perfect to have an album like that right out of the gate from coming off The Voice.. a show with an auddience where people who listen to many different types of music first found out about you. Your collection of songs, as you put it, is exactly what is needed coming off of something like that, and I hope you don't (and I'm sure you don't) have any regrets about that. My favorite song on the album is Daniel.. just you and the accousitc.. so pure, and beautiful.

    I know the music business can get complicated with pressures from execs, etc, but I hope you just do what feels right to you. I hope that you don't have to think about, "ok, this will be the hit single", etc. Put out what is most dear to YOU.. what stirs emotion in you, whichever emotion that is.. and at the same time not worry about everrything needing to be so deep or clever because you are a natural and these things just happen on their own.

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    1. cont'd - just a 2 parter :)

      I'm 33, originally from NY, and now live in Philly. My roots are in R&B / Hip Hop, growing up as a teen in the 90s. But also was well aware of all the oldies my parents played and appreciated that as well as alternative music which my brother was into. Many people might discount my taste just because of what I listened to in my teens (and still love as well). I don't like to be pre-judged off of that. As I became an adult I really broadened my music, and it is an ongoing journey for me. I really love it all. I have over 15,000 songs on my itunes playlist, and I put you up there with the top of my artists of all time. This is coming from a true music lover of ALL kinds and ages.

      I hope that you never get discouraged by criticism by music snobs. I can't see them criticizing you, but just in case. Every day people love you too. I'm a generation x-er who is not a big online person, so I don't usually follow blogs or tweets unless I am looking for something. I thought you singing Jar of Hearts on You Tube was so beautiful though.

      AND YOUR BOOK... wow, you're writing a novel.. I'm super duper excited for that too.. the blot sounds very interesting.

      I know you're busy and focused, and sorry for being so wordy with this message (if you read it), which is just the tip of the iceberg of summing up how I feel.

      Sincerely,

      Doug Snyder
      (Dugg Zander on FB.. I will look you up, and see if I can request you)

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