I admit I was a bit skeptical about Dia Frampton‘s turn towards more electronic/EDM-infused sounds. As a long-time follower of her early sister-duo pop-rock/indie band Meg & Dia in the late 2000s, to her latest ventures as a solo artist following The Voice, her latest project, Archis, teamed with composer/film scorer Joseph Trapanese (Tron, Oblivian, Transformers), reveals a lot of her own depth and honesty as an individual. And I think I’m beginning to fall in love with it.
Riding on elements of vulnerability, honesty and pain, her early writing with her sister Meg was oft written in the bedroom about real-life experiences and obscure analogies to escapist books. At first driven by a single acoustic guitar and crooning vocals that revealed a lot of their young angst and pain, the two sisters were driven to MySpace and Warped Tour-fandom, only then to be dropped and picked up by a few labels who tried to force their sound in one direction, or another.
Throughout the years, the Frampton sisters have garnered a wide-spanning, devoted fan-base who often push, support and mobilize the success of their artistry. It wasn’t until Dia’s stint on The Voice in early 2011 where she was plunged into the national television world, spurring a debut solo-album with happy-go-lucky pop tunes and country-laden melodies, which boasted of the optimism of a newfound career in music that would have otherwise depleted.
Three years since her last album comes Archis, a new EP and musical project in which Dia has been able to fully grow into her own element as an artist and individual.
Working with many individuals over the years, Dia, in an interview with The Music Ninja, reveals that she “wanted to have that feel to a movie…I want it to have that climax. I want it to have those moments where the music says something for you as well. It didn’t have to be as busy as a pop song with so much production.”
As numerous record labels have continuously been fighting for songs about female empowerment, Dia, although not against it, finds something much more within her element:
“I always wanted to sing about sad stuff, or painful things, or being afraid. They never wanted me to write about that. I believe in strength, but I believe in vulnerability. I’m a very vulnerable person. There’s things that have happened in my life that have just caused change and I’m never the person who has been super optimistic about it.”
With this new project, I feel that Dia has been able to finally express all of the emotions and experiences she wishes to share through the lens of a cinematic journey.
“There’s been times in my life where I’ve felt a little phony, to get a little Catcher in the Rye on you. There’s been times where I’ve thought, ‘what am I even doing here?’ I finally feel like this is what I want to say.”
Working with a film composer is definitely an eclectic choice; yet, as the atmosphere of a film score allows one to enter a world of one’s own–her own–I believe Joe and Dia are providing us the added intensity of a journey; an adventure; with all it’s ups and downs. And I think I’m beginning to love it.
The first release, “Blood,” is familiar of Dia’s breathy vocals as her voice slowly creeps up,tightens, andpenetrates to match the effects of an emotion; a cry; a calling. The song reads like a diary entry from Dia’s heart, with enough musical interventions to allow the listener to sit on the emotion. As a long-time listener having first fallen in love with Dia’s ability to relay angst and real-life emotion through her voice and writing, this track lies testament to that old journey of finding clarity through your word. And it’s such a treat to hear this renewal, heard in a much more clean-cut, instrumental journey of voice, callings and honest lyrics.