The Sound Cafe
Canadian Singer-Songwriter T. Buckley's Highly Anticipated New Album 'Frame By Frame' Drops
By Jason Schneider.
On his new album Frame By Frame, T. Buckley presents a collection of moments looking back at our families, communities, lovers and friends—those closest to us, who make us who we are, from the touching moments to the dark truths. As we continue to grapple with our personal disconnection over the past two years, the 10 songs on Frame By Frame balance both sides of that divide, delving into the bleakness and offering guidance to help us re-connect to what’s important. With his sharply honed storytelling skills on full display, Frame By Frame illustrates why Buckley has earned a place in the conversation about Canada’s best singer/songwriters.
Recorded at Studio Bell, located in the National Music Centre in Buckley’s home base, Calgary, Frame By Frame finds him supported by a stellar cast of musicians including multi- instrumentalists Mitch Jay and Jesse Dollimont, keyboardist Steve Fletcher, bassist Keith Rempel and drummer Dan Stadnicki. With producer/engineer Jeff Kynoch (Cayley Thomas, Altameda) behind the board, the album carries forward the approach of Buckley’s acclaimed 2018 release Miles We Put Behind, harkening back to the sounds of the Laurel Canyon folk-rock scene in the late ‘60s, sprinkled with synthesizers and chorus pedals giving the album a lush well-rounded sound and a definite departure from the sparser Texas troubadour tones that marked his past work.
When asked to describe the recording process for Frame By Frame, Buckley says, “The players were stellar and I was working with a team that I was close with on a musical and personal level. Everyone was really invested in the project and cared about the tunes and the stories behind them, and I think that comes through when listening back to the body of work. The meat of the record was recorded live, we did some overdubbing but the majority of the tracks are live with the band all in the same room together.”
That spontaneous energy shines through on the album’s initial singles, “Before I Get To Turn Around,” inspired by a friend trying to break out of the downward turn his life had taken, and “Marilyn,” written as a tribute to how the spirit of long-lost relatives can live on in future generations. But Buckley says it’s perhaps the title track that he’s most proud of, and why he chose it to represent the whole album.
“‘Frame By Frame’ is one I hold close. It’s very reflective, and came out of thinking about my grandfather. I feel like I really captured his essence on the tune and I feel like the song is universal with its message that it’s the little things and moments that matter, the time we’re able to spend with one another.”
Embracing such ideas in his music is what makes T. Buckley a true craftsman. That skill has been evident since 2008 when he first appeared on the scene with the T. Buckley Trio, producing three full-length albums all crammed with images of forgotten lovers, sunken-eyed truck drivers and the unassailable rural spirit.
Since making Miles We Put Behind with Grammy-nominated and multi-genre enthusiast, producer/engineer Howard Bilerman, he has placed equal focus on expanding his overall sound, and that approach perfectly complements Frame By Frame’s elements of light and shade. “I think my writing is the strongest it’s been on this album,” Buckley says. “I can see my own growth as a writer from previous projects. I feel like these new songs are more brave and raw. I didn’t shy away from some darker stories and feelings.”
Indeed, T. Buckley’s Frame By Frame is steeped in over a decade spent learning about musicianship and showmanship, grinding through three-hour sets in bars across Canada. Through that experience we hear a self-assured, confident singer and writer with a soul and voice that is unmistakably genuine. Buckley is telling his stories the way they were meant to be told, with the perfect supporting cast to bring these well-crafted tales to life.
Record Label: fallentreerecords.com/t-buckley-frame-by-frame