Freddy Touches Listeners WIth Simplicity
Another fresh face has emerged from the musically fertile landscape of Alberta, Canada, and its name is Freddy. Or rather, his name is Freddy, a.k.a. Frederic Litwiniuk. "I decided to just go by 'Freddy' so people wouldn't have to worry about trying to pronounce my last name," explains Freddy. "The first name is maybe a little easier for people to remember. My last name gets butchered pretty well," he adds, laughing.
It's also quite a disarming moniker for an extremely talented musician and performer to hide behind, kind of like calling a Belgian mocha "a cuppa Joe." Freddy's debut album, "Things You Never Thought I'd Say," is loaded with beautiful harmonies and intricate acoustic guitar work mixed with subtle percussion and the occasional piano and/or violin, and even the occasional foray into electronic, loop-laden funk.
The album itself is as deceptively simple as the name Freddy has chosen to record under. On plain paper, the songs come across as simple love songs, matched couplets with perfect rhymes and easy rhythms. Delivered alongside the music, however, phrases like "I go blind/while you try to read my mind" and "Baby baby with a heart of gold/Together we would never grow old" take on a deeper meaning, melancholy and ripe with disaster, or triumphant and filled with hope.
"I'd been writing songs for a lot of years, and I started thinking about it as a collection," says Freddy about the making of "Things You Never Thought I'd Say." The decision to record and release the album all on his own came easily, as he had already known people who had taken that route and been successful as independent artists that way.
"I felt like I was in a position where I could finance the recording myself, and I could have the creative control over it. And I was really, I really believed in my music, I was at this point where if I was going to do something, I had to do it right. So I decided to take the next step and find a producer for my work and get the album put together."
A mutual friend in the music community introduced Freddy to his soon-to-be-producer, Craig Poole, and the two of them immediately clicked. "He was really able to help me realize my vision," says Freddy. "He really understood what I was trying to do, and so I just felt like the time was right" He laughs, "I'd done all the irresponsible-type things in my life, and so it was time to follow my dreams, as it were."
So it was off to the studio with the record, and Freddy and Craig started mulling through the piles of music that Freddy had written over the years. Freddy recorded a bunch of his material as simple acoustic guitar and voice demos for Craig to listen to, and Craig sat through all of them and helped Freddy pick out which songs would work best for the debut release.
"When you do something independently like this, you can choose what you want to put on there, and you don't have to necessarily stick to a rigid description within that style," says Freddy. "When you're making an album with a major label, you don't usually get the chance to do that.
"Even though that may not be the most commercial thing to do, to mix styles, it was a lot of fun, because then you get sort of an idea of what my style is, as opposed to, like, there are a couple of different genres."
And that's one of the really enjoyable and unique things about "Things You Never Thought I'd Say." The range of styles on here are really fun to go through, from the funky sound of "Secret" to the softer, ballad sounds of "Apart" and "Fade Away" and the bright, happy opening track, "A Moment Away" — throughout them all, Freddy's individuality and range shines through, without disturbing any continuity of the album itself.
"I'm really happy to be doing what I'm doing right now, and I feel really proud of it," finishes Freddy. "The greatest complement that I get from people is that they enjoyed the music.
"I wanted to make an album that people would want to listen to, and one that as many people as possible would want to listen to. I wanted to make music that people are touched by in some way, that's gets to people, because that's what inspired me to make music in the first place is listening to these songs growing up that I loved so much. They really moved me, so I wanted to do that for other people."
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