In less than a year, the Fray has gone from being virtually unknowns to the top of Denver?s A-list. In October 2003, the music editor of Westword, Denver?s biggest alt-weekly, stumbled across a rough mix of their studio work, loved it and dropped a mention in his weekly column.
Since then, in no short order, the band has been tapped by Westword as Denver?s best new band and chosen by its readers as the area?s best rock band; been invited to perform live in KBCO?s famous Studio C and on KQMT; and finally, had ?Some Trust,? a cut from the Fray?s Reason EP, was placed on the ?new release rack? and tested for regular rotation on Clearchannels 93.3 KTCL.
So, who is the Fray and why all the fuss?
The Fray was formed in the spring of 2002 by Joe King and Isaac Slade, schoolmates who grew up together in Denver and even sang in the same school choir. Several years after graduation and following stints in various local bands, King and Slade started collaborating informally. Before long, the casual sessions led to the formation of the Fray.
Guitarist King and Slade who plays piano both share lead vocal and songwriting duties. ?Although we started working on our songs separately,? says Slade, ?most of our new songs are true collaborations.?
The Fray?s work, both on stage and in studio, has generated an accelerating buzz unlike anthing Colorado has seen before. Word of mouth has gotten people to check them out and once they do, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. As Westword?s music editor Dave Herrera wrote when he first heard their music, ?Moments like that remind me why I?ve spent my life searching for the sounds and people that move me.?
The Fray recently headlined Boulder?s storied Fox Theatre and Denver?s Gothic Theatre. Bolstered by new recordings, produced at Coup Studios in Boulder, label execs on both coasts are expressing interest in the band. The Fray?s tight arrangements, haunting melodies and evocative lyrics result in a sound that is extremely polished by any standards.