Michael Fracasso has long been a highly respected singer-songwriter both within his home base of Austin, Texas and in the world of Americana as a whole. This may come from the fact that he has always refused to be tied down by any one style of music. At the core of everything he does there has always been a songwriter capable of spinning a vibrant narrative, whether he is veering into soft-spoken power pop, rowdy blues or socially conscious folk music – often at the same time. What makes Fracasso so intriguing is the fact that he is a songwriter on a relentless quest to challenge himself when it comes to writing better songs as well as the styles of music he encompasses on each record. This may seem like a given for any artist, but it’s easier said than done.
No matter what he is doing, Fracasso’s approach to his craft is as heartfelt and honest as his voice is a soft and unmistakable tenor. The same can be said for his new album Here Come The Savages, releasing nationally June 10th on Blue Door Records, which, interestingly enough, is composed of one half covers and one half originals.
“I get bored easily,” he says. “The last thing I want to do is make the same record again.”
You can feel Fracasso’s urge to push himself into new musical terrain with his covers of songs by the likes of Brian Wilson, Ray Davies and Johnny Thunders, all of whom were bold visionaries in their own right. One of the strongest covers on Here Come The Savages is Fracasso’s take on the classic 1967 song “How Can I Be Sure” by The Rascals, which we are premiering today on Glide Magazine. The original version of the song is slow and serenading, a darker love song still oozing with romance. Fracasso’s version adds a strong drum beat and a heavy guitar, turning the song from a lover’s plead to a cynical critique of his own ability to find what he is after. The transformation is moving and effective in a totally different way than the original, and by the end Fracasso has broken down as he lays out his emotions on the table while a piano tinkers behind him. He’s clearly thought about the bigger question the lyrics are asking.
“For me this song always straddled the post Beatle pop music world and Italian crooner world of the early 60’s that preceded it. When it was brought to my attention we decided to focus on the more elemental and evocative opening question,” says Fracasso.
Michael Fracasso releases Here Come The Savages via Blue Door Records on June 10th. For more music and info check out michaelfracasso.com.