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'The Lights, The Sound', Salt Lake City band Frame & Canvas’ debut album (2011), displays a masterful combination of soaring guitar riffs, soulful vocals and catchy choruses. Drawing influence from bands like Jimmy Eat World, Coldplay and The Fray, Frame & Canvas has created their own brand of contemporary pop rock that’s sure to gain a devoted following. With a diverse collection of infectious pop singles such as “Butterscotch” and “Sure” to emotional, brooding rock songs like “The Lights, The Sound” and “Daylight,” this album has something for everyone.
“Frame & Canvas offers emo-rock... [And] they do it very well. Their [live] set was full of solid song writing and smooth progressions. If they keep it up I expect they will again have songs on X96 and other like-minded stations....” Tom Bennett, Slug Magazine, said after recognizing the group as former members of local bands Mesa Drive and Paxtin.
What started as a side project for lead singer and guitarist, Chad Hansen, quickly turned into an official thing as he began collaborating at the Lounge Studio with brother and guitarist Marc Hansen, drummer RK Topper and engineer/producer Trevor Price. “We really had no control over ourselves,” Chad Hansen said. “It was going to happen whether we liked it or not.” The album’s title track “The Lights, The Sound” really explains it best. Chad Hansen croons “I am not myself” with such passion, referring to the intrinsic need each band member felt to be writing, recording and performing music again.
Frame & Canvas puts everything they’ve got into their performance and it shows. “We are all playing for the song,” said Topper, a drummer known around Utah for his impeccable timing. “Not to show off how talented we are, but to show how amazing the song is.” The band strives to make sure their music is something everyone can enjoy. “The music that we write should be for everyone no matter where they come from…,” Chad Hansen said. “Hopefully they find meaning and connection with the music and the lyrics of our songs.”
The band’s name, Frame & Canvas, finds its origins on the 1998 Braid album of the same name. “We didn’t set out to sound like Braid in any way,” Marc Hansen said. “We just wanted to show respect to one of the most influential albums of our youth. As we thought about Frame & Canvas we attached our own meaning to it--discussing how life is always in motion and how an album is really just a snapshot describing where you are.”
During the album writing process, Marc Hansen said they kept their live show and their musical roots in mind. Working with Price, they were given a tremendous amount of freedom to experiment and figure out what they liked best. “For me it was amazing to just be able to really sit down and experiment with different tones, ideas,” Topper said, “and then really make each part count.” Chad Hansen described the process as “liberating,” saying “nothing was off limits... we had all the creative power.” The result: an introductory album with mass appeal or “top 40 with a splash of indie-rock and two parts soulful vocals,” as Topper put it.