Fragile Canyons released their latest EP “Slow Dancing Beyond Silverdome” on December 1, 2018. The five-song project has an overall relaxed and chill vibe, with the exception being “Cadillac Souls,” which stands out without being out of place. The EP opener, “The Shade,” has a slow building intro with a twinge of twang that comes back in the outro. The song climaxes to an optimistic yet melancholic mood then backs off to a mellow ending. Next up is the previously mentioned “Cadillac Souls,” a more up-tempo song with layered vocals and forceful yet chill instrumentals. “Light Upon Light” is the middle track and my second favorite of the album. The lyrics draw up feelings as if from a memory, even if you’ve never actually experienced “slow dancing across your kitchen floor” you know exactly what that emotion is. The penultimate track “Gilded Mirror” continues the chill but complex soundscape, bringing to mind relationships and how we see others. “Powerless” finishes out the EP. This track is the earworm, after listening to “Slow Dance Beyond Silverdome” I had this song stuck in my head for hours. The punchy delivery of chorus will absolutely stick with you, ending perfectly with the optimistic lyric “You are not powerless.”
Andy – Lead Singer/rhythm guitar/songwriter
Chase – Drums
Nick – Guitar/keys/flugelhorn/backup vocals
Noah – Bass/keys/backup vocals
(Melodic Noise) What is Fragile Canyons’ origin story?
(Andy Fragile Canyons) We started two years ago. Originally it was more of a solo acoustic thing (the first record was mostly me playing with Chase overdubbing drums and my buddy Craig playing guitar) then transformed into a full band thing. I played bass in a bunch of bands before Fragile Canyons so I met these guys mostly thru the scene.
(MN) What is the story behind the title “Slow Dancing Beyond Silverdome”?
(FC) The title is sort of a reference to “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.” “Slow dancing” and “silverdome” are also lyrics on the album in separate songs. Thunderdome and the Thunder-dome in the movie is the big cage where people fight to the death for entertainment. “Slow Dancing Beyond Silverdome” sort of means “drifting past meaningless conflict” or “not wasting time with things that aren’t important”. Sorry - heavy handed explanation! I watched that movie after we got done making the record and for some reason it just totally connected to what I was trying to say with the songs.
(MN) Lyrically what stands out on the album?
(FC) Cadillac Souls stands out to me. Lyrical themes are somewhat similar across the other tracks, Cadillac Souls is very different. Usually I write stuff while sitting down with a guitar in hand. Cadillac Souls I wrote mostly in my head while I was doing errands so it doesn’t have the same feel as most of our songs.
(MN) What are some musical influences?
(FC) Key influences are Grateful Dead, Jayhawks, Joni Mitchell, Jim O’Rourke, Sun Kil Moon
(MN) Who are your favorite Twin Cities artists?
(FC) Wild Age, Grape Whales, Witch Watch, Loud Sun, Iceblink, Slow Clarity, Oscar Tengo, Nathan Walker, Symptones, Panther Ray, Wealthy Relative, Pleasure Horse, Laura Hugo, Jennie Lawless, ar.birn, Dirty Banks, c.kostra, Devata Daun, Dennis, Outfielder, Hemma, Good Doom, Lunch Duchess, Dreamspook, Beasthead, Ghostmouth, Monica LaPlante
(MN) Favorite venue to play and see shows?
(FC) Favorite to play at – 331 Club. Favorite to see a show – Turf Club or Kitty Cat Klub.
(MN) What can fans expect when they come to a Fragile Canyons show?
(FC) Too many tuning breaks.
(MN) What is your favorite memory of playing a show?
(FC) Our album release last Saturday at the 331 Club was our best show. I think we get a little better each show. There’s been a lot of personnel changes in the band since we started but our lineup has been solid for almost a year so it’s getting tighter and tighter.
(MN) What was the inspiration behind the album?
(FC) I wrote most of the songs when I was dealing with my first bouts of mental illness (depression & anxiety). I was having a tough time with my career and marriage and the weight of all of it, so music was becoming an escape from all of it. I eventually learned through therapy and meditation that most people in the world don’t really think about anyone else but themselves, so thinking the world is out to get you is just a waste of mental energy. I also realized that finding people that do care about you and love you are rare and valuable, so that was a big influence on some of the tunes (i.e. Gilded Mirror, Light Upon Light). Also, the band was just super cohesive and tight on this record, both musically and friendship-wise. I felt like we were all in it together which was a great experience to have when dealing with dark thoughts and patterns. I honestly just hope people like listening to it. There’s just such an overload of digital goop everyday and I feel so grateful when people take time to listen to our music.
(MN) What do you like about living in the Twin Cities?
(FC) Access to nature/parks/bike paths, fairly good political representation, great music scene, good beer, good basketball teams. Oh and great libraries.
(MN) Favorite places to grab food or drink in the Twin Cities?
(FC) Flat Earth Brewing is my favorite. I think they used to name all their beers after Rush songs, which I always thought, was cool. Favorite place to drink would probably be Sporty’s or Grumpys in NE, although I think they’re closed now. Pig Ate My Pizza is probably my single favorite restaurant in the cities. Pho 79 in St. Paul also rules.
(MN) What are the band’s plans for the future?
(FC) Hopefully the future holds a gig at the Icehouse for us.
You can listen to Fragile Canyons’ “Slow Dancing Beyond Silverdome” here: https://open.spotify.com/album/2TWOVyPVQS9f2CrefSSTqz
Review and Interview by: Andrew Perrizo
Copyright © 2019 Melodic Noise Media. All Rights Reserved.