New article update, “Ten Years Later, Dia Frampton
(ARCHIS, Meg & Dia, The Voice) Is Still Pushing” available.
Archis (Dia Frampton) opening for Lindsey Stirling
The City National Grove of Anaheim
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
In recent years, singer-songwriter Dia Frampton (of Meg & Dia and The Voice) has teamed up with film composer Joseph Trapanese (TRON, Oblivion, Transformers) to produce an entirely drum-filled, horn-flying, intensely emotion-driven album riding on filmic climaxes and cinematic adventures.
Although this is an entirely new venture for Dia and a “labor of love,” the musical pairing seems to work well. Epic, I might even say.
Having just premiered the first song “Blood” off her upcoming EP this past Wednesday, Archis is a music project that has been well kept under-the-radar. Perhaps the secrecy of this project has allowed Dia to entirely put herself into the making of this album, without any outside influence or pressure.
On just day two of her opening for Lindsey Stirling’s year-round nation-wide tour this past Wednesday, Dia Frampton has made quite the statement as an opening act.
With the cinematic atmosphere Trapanese has been able to create with his climactic build-ups, synths, boastful drums and upbeat rhythms, Dia draws and pulls you into another world–her world–as she wrings out the emotions of her lyrics through belting, whispering and falsetto-ing.
Performing her entire EP front-to-back, the six-song set shines with magical, tension-filled tunes, soft, crooning lullabies and otherwise upbeat proclamations of nostalgia, love and renewal. Perhaps what is most eclectic to her set is the powerful single drumbeat crushing right into your chest with one hit, and the beautiful orchestral horn-section that alludes to a marching war beat.
Coupled with a drummer, keyboardist and a recorded track overlaying her performance, Archis really creates an intimate journey. It’s a short, six-song journey that is clean-cut and tightly-packed; yet, no more needs be done. It sits as balanced and perfect as it does, bringing in emotions of all kinds.
I admit that I was waiting for Dia to bust out with her ole familiar quirky gestures and silly banter with band-members and the audience, it was a bit of a change to see her solely “do her job,” performing one song after the other (of course, as an opening act, there’s not much room to take the show as your own). I found that the atmosphere Archis was able to create has allowed Dia to get lost within herself. Moments where she seems to be in a trance and the few glances and smiles she gives to the audience shows that she is totally in her element as she loses herself to the music. As the sole focus of the three-person act, Dia owns the stage and allows her voice to shine. And, as a long-time follower of her music for the past decade, she really has tapped into something special here. Archis is going to win these crowds over.
This may well be one of Dia’s most innovative and powerful ventures in music to date. She shows a true growth of character and musicianship through Archis, and it is so heart-warming to see… It almost makes me cry to think how far she has come (I’m such a sap). “Blood” is so damn powerful and her third song (“Bittersweet”? “Tiny Wings”?) brings a tear to my eye.
As a side note: Dia wasn’t able to meet-and-greet because she had lost her voice (she really did give her performance her all), but I was happily pleased to see Mike again–who seems to always be all over the place. I also ran into Cassadee Pope’s long-time boyfriend Rian Dawson (drummer for All Time Low) and had a quick conversation with him (he’s friends with Lindsey’s keytarist), finding that he is such a down-to-earth guy (you’ve got a good one Cass). Also, it was absolutely touching that, although presented as Dia Frampton on tour, Dia’s merch booth had nothing entirely herself–it was purely Archis. She had put her sister’s jewelry cards and necklaces all over her merch (Chandler the Robot), bringing a piece of her sister along with her on tour (growing up in music with a sibling is surely something very special; any moment to perform together again must be a feeling like no other). As Dia heads this new project entirely on her own, it must be a little scary, but liberating all the same.