Fraaek is an alternative rock band from Guatemala passionate about creating music which tinkers with various sound devices and explores the art of introspection. Their newly released single, “Paralisis del Sueño” provides us with nostalgia and evokes our teenage self-inducing memories of listening to bands like The Killers and Mobile. Fraaek is unique in their ability to create such a spacey aesthetic sound while combining a fusion of alternative rock, shoegaze, and dream pop into one unified and complete piece. Highlighting the bands use of instrumental sound with ethereal guitars, analog synthesizers, upbeat rhythms, and soft/ gentle vocals. "Paralsis del Sueño", better translated as sleep paralysis begins which a very dreamlike, silky and tranquil beat that builds into a surprising buoyant melody. Sleep paralysis is a state of awareness while being unable to communicate one’s thoughts- much like the experience when listening to the song. Fraaek has a unique way of paralyzing us with their sound, changing our perception of the direction of this song with 3 unique turning points from 0- 1 minute (starting slow and eerie) to 1-4 minutes (upbeat and heavily acoustic) to ending with a retro guitar riff. Thanks for the unusual ride and the enthralling musical journey! We loved this song in its entirety and we can't wait to see what's next for Fraaek as we enter a new year,
Listen to "Paralsis del Sueño" here.
Hi Fraaek and welcome to BuzzMusic can you tell us more about the meaning behind your band name and how the five of you met?
Hi! thank you for talking to us, it's really great to share our music and thoughts with you and your audience. Fraaek has been a bit of a rollercoaster in terms of lineup, we started the project as a 'collective', so members came and went depending on their availability. We've had collaborators who've never met in person and geographic distance has made us adapt and transform. However, for the past two years, we've had more stability and the current lineup features Franc Castillejos (Vocals, production), Alex Hentze (synthesizers, programming and drum machines), David Chinchilla (drums, production), Fer Franco (guitar, synths, and vocals) and Fede Franco (guitars and atmospherics). In some way, we've all been part of the Guatemalan indie scene for a while now, so we met at gigs, collaborating with other artists and in the case of Fer and Fede since forever as they are brothers! For us, Fraaek is a space for introspection, experimentation, and co-creation, we all have other music projects, but this one is very special as we give ourselves the freedom to make music we believe in, ask meaningful questions and play with every 'toy' we can get our hands-on.
As for the band's name, it came out of necessity, we had a gig scheduled and no name, so we kinda found it in a random ticket for a raffle and it's stuck with us since!
"Parálisis del Sueño” is much a musical journey with 3 distinctive instrumental changes. Can you explain the intention behind the diversity of sounds?
We really enjoy experimenting with different sounds, instruments, and ways of altering a track, so we usually start with a simple sound, chord progression or melody and mess with it until we feel it's going somewhere. For example, in Parálisis, we had a simple progression recorded on a guitar, Alex took that, 'stretched' it with Ableton Live and we got these haunting sounds that don't resemble a guitar anymore, it gave us the basis for the verse and was important to set the tone of the song.
It is true that most of our songs start and end at different places, you could say they almost sound like two songs pasted together, this is because we like to be surprised to see our songs as journeys.
What was the inspiration behind the creation of “Parálisis del Sueño”?
Parálisis del Sueño comes from the event some people suffer while sleeping called 'sleep paralysis', a state in which our bodies are in the process of waking up, trapped between a lucid dream and the feeling that you're paralyzed. The song explores the conformity that is sometimes present in the way we lead our lives from day to day. Conformity that leaves us feeling stuck and unable to adapt to certain changes, to cross barriers and evolve. However, lucid dreams are at the other end of sleep paralysis, a state in which we can control our surroundings, alter reality at our will. The song came from exploring the delicate balance between those two states, being paralyzed and being able to explore new possibilities and move forward.
Can you explain what shoegaze genre is and how this is unique/ complementary to your defined sound?
Shoegaze is a genre characterized by heavy use of guitar effects, distortion, delays, feedback, ethereal vocals, and dreamy soundscapes. Our music takes inspiration from this approach, where texture is more important than technique.
Thanks for chatting with us and we can’t wait to see your career grow. Your sound is so moving and ethereal. Which musicians are your biggest influences?
Thank you for chatting with us! haha, we like a bit of everything, we'd say that some of our biggest influences come from abroad and span a wide range of genres. Artists like Radiohead, Wilco, Caribou, Tycho, Sufjan Stevens, Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada have been a huge part of our musical journeys as individuals and as a group.
What's next for Fraaek?
We're currently finishing the last details of a six-track EP that will come out in March 2020, the release will be followed by shows in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, and most likely Texas.
After that, more music... :)