In the last three months, electro-pop duo Frenship has pleasantly surprised us by releasing three back-to-back singles. With their signature, smooth vocals and dance-driven catchy production, we knew that these new songs would resonate well within their fan base and beyond. This is the first new material that we have heard from James Sunderland and Brett Hite since January of last year, and we are so excited to see the duo ramping back up with a tour across the U.S. and their catchy new material in tow.
Coming off of their U.S. run, the duo will make appearances at high profile festivals such as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza this summer. I can sense that there are big things on the horizon for Frenship, and Friday’s show at House of Blues Bronze Peacock Room in Houston, TX gave me a nice preview of the excitement to come.
When I was presented with the opportunity to attend Frenship’s show on Friday, my first thought was that I could not wait to see and hear the duo translate their electronically-produced tracks in a live setting. I am always curious to dive into the mind of an electronic artist. Watching the artist interpret their songs on stage helps me understand a little bit more about their process. As a producer myself, I am the type of music consumer that likes to listen to a song multiple times to hear each nuance, each synth sound, each riff, each melody, and so on and so forth. It is easy to do this with Frenship’s music which is dense, rich, beat-driven, and topped with smooth vocals and catchy melodies.
I arrived in time to catch a bit of direct supporting act, Yoke Lore’s, set. They definitely set a solid tone for the night, keeping the audience engaged and discussing their love for locking eyes with the crowd while performing meaningful songs. Their final song was one that they have decided not to record, purely to preserve it as a special experience for intimate live settings. It was a raw and powerful ballad: a fitting cliffhanger which left the audience ready and waiting for more.
Accompanied by three touring band members, Frenship hit the stage to the sound of a warm and welcoming response from the sizable crowd in the Bronze Peacock Room. A glowing ring of light shone behind the band, alternating fluorescent hues. James and Brett’s vocals were just as smooth and sultry as I anticipated, and their harmonies were spot on. Anchoring the vocals were a mix of live drums, guitar, bass, and synths. I was impressed by the multi-instrumental nature of the duo, as they both played bass, guitar, and drums, all while managing to engage the crowd, dance, and keep their energy alive throughout the set. The crowd maintained its energy as well, dancing and singing along until the final song. It’s hard not to dance to Frenship’s songs with their pulsating rhythms and catchy melodies.
I enjoyed hearing the duo speak between songs. They talked a bit about their history and meeting while working together at Lululemon. Someone in the audience asked if they could get a discount, which garnered some laughs from the crowd. James and Brett also mentioned that this was their first ever headlining tour, to which the audience applauded. Though, they seem like seasoned vets based on their caliber of musicianship and stage presence. The band moved from song to song, dancing and switching between instruments, playing hits both new and old.
Their three most recently singles, released between January and April, were big hits with the audience. The crowd seemed to especially enjoy “LOVE Somebody” and “GOODMORNING, Goodbye”, their two most recently released songs, as they sang and swayed along with the beat. The high point of the night was hearing their 2016 hit, “Capsize”, live. Their touring keyboardist and vocalist was a perfect fit for the female lead vocal part, sung by Emily Warren in the recorded version of the song. The audience knew every word, and it was really enjoyable to watch everyone get lost in the music together. Frenship put on a solid show and I am confident that Houston would love to have them back very soon. I was happy to witness their warm reception here in this city, and lucky to catch their energetic, emotive set. I love music that can make me both feel and dance at the same time, and Frenship has solid recipe for this type of sensory combination.
Check out Frenship‘s upcoming tour dates on their website, HERE, and check out the live version of “GOODMORNING, Goodbye” below!
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