Aaron Frazer (of Durand Jones & The Indications) Presents “Bad News”

AaronFrazer, the co-lead vocalist and drummer of Durand Jones & The Indications, debuts today with a new single/video, “Bad News,” via DeadOceans/EasyEyeSound. The Brooklyn-based, Baltimore-raised songwriter – who previously released music as The Flying Stars of Brooklyn, NY –  possesses a unique voice that’s both contemporary and timeless, which conveys a wide emotional palate and progressive worldview in the tradition of musical masterminds like Curtis Mayfield. 

Produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, “Bad News,” is a song with a message in the key of Gil Scott-Heron. Recorded in Nashville with a crew of legendary session players — including members of the MemphisBoys (who played on Dusty Springfield’s “Son of A Preacher Man” and Aretha Franklin’s “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman”), symphony percussionist SamBacco, and several members of the Daptone/BigCrownRecords universe, Frazer shows maturation and range with his new single, melding 70s soul with Auerbach’s particular sensibilities. “Aaron is just so incredibly gifted; to be so good at drums and sing like that at the same time. It just hit so hard,” says Auerbach, who reached out to Aaron immediately after hearing The Indications’ standout, “Is It Any Wonder.”“I love falsetto singing – there’s something so vulnerable about it,” Auerbach recalls.

A soul-jazz rumination on the tumultuous state of the earth, “Bad News” reflects on the ways we choose to tune out in the face of crises like homelessness and climate change. “I wrote ‘Bad News’ last November, originally as a song about climate change – a threat that feels so big, so existential, that sometimes it’s easier for us to just look away,” says Frazer. “But today, I think it’s taken on a new meaning. It’s become a song that gives voice to the things everybody is experiencing right now: isolation, and figuring out how to get through our daily life in the face of relentless bad news.”

The accompanying video for “Bad News”, directed by Julia Barrett-Mitchell, features Frazer and dancer NicoleJavanna Johnson, who physically interprets the song’s sound, her movements compelling and unyielding as she dances throughout Red Hook, Brooklyn. 

“I had this concept for the Bad News video in my head for a while,” explains Frazer. “Dance has long been a way for people to express feelings that go unheard elsewhere. When I brought on my friend, director Julia Barrett Mitchell, she immediately understood the vibe and connected me to her longtime friend and former classmate, racial justice activist Nicole Johnson. I wanted to give Nicole, who is also a musician and educator, as much space as possible to interpret the song how she felt it. Nicole’s movements rise in intensity over the course of the video to express the rising urgency of the moment.”

Watch Video for Aaron Frazer’s “Bad News”

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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