After a disappointing commercial reception for their third album, 2012’s Scars and Stories, Denver foursome The Fray found themselves wondering if they wanted to carry on. “Those are the kinds of defeats that make you do the math and figure out if this is something you really want to do,” says singer and pianist Isaac Slade.
But then the band’s new album, Helios, dropped this year. It’s a strong set that demonstrates how far the band has come as instrumentalists and songwriters.
The Fray formed in 2002 when high school friends Isaac Slade (vocals, piano) and Joe King (guitar) ran into each other in a Denver guitar shop. They added drummer Ben Wysocki and bassist Dave Welsh and landed on the name by asking people to write their ideas down on pieces of paper; the winning suggestion was The Fray.
A college radio station played the group’s song “Over My Head” and it was off to the races from there. The Fray’s rise accelerated as they made their way around Colorado’s college scene and then across the country.
I saw the band at a sold-out BottleRock music festival in Napa Valley this summer and they were the best act of the whole weekend. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the band and I think it will only get better for them. They have the sound, the songs and the charisma to go all the way. Hopefully the new record will be just what they need to make it happen.