Aaron Frazer

Aaron Frazer, the co-lead vocalist and drummer of Durand Jones & The Indications, debuts today with a new single/video, “Bad News,” via Dead Oceans/Easy Eye Sound.
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 Memphis Boys (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 Sam Bacco, and several members of the Daptone/Big Crown Records 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 Nicole Javanna 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.”

Debut solo single from Aaron Frazer of Durand Jones & The Indications. Aaron’s super sweet, silvery falsetto was featured on “Is It Any Wonder?” on The Indications’ debut LP, but Aaron steps out here with some lowdown gospel soul with some help from friends including Eli Paperboy Reed.