Portland’s Fruition will be bookending its latest album Wild as the Night with next month’s Broken at the Break of Day, whose melodic, harmony-laden “Dawn” is premiering exclusively below.
“We kind of planned those two together, what we’re calling ‘companion’ releases,” frontman Jay Cobb Anderson tells Billboard. “We just got to the point where we were trying to figure out how to just release a lot of music.” Broken at the Break of Day drops on Jan. 17, just over two months after its predecessor and also after a series of singles that followed Fruition’s 2018 release Watching It All Fall Apart.
“They’re connected in a couple of different ways,” Anderson says of Broken and Wild, each of which has seven songs. “They’re all us and there’s the theme of the whole night and day kind of thing. We put out Night first because for touring musicians nighttime is when we’re up and going and partying and the whole thing, and daytime is more about reflection and, I guess, some of the more sobering moments, especially on the road.
“I think they’re just, like, two different sides of the same coin, two different sides of life.”
The quintet recorded and self-produced Broken mostly in drummer Tyler Thompson’s basement studio, while the track “The End of the Day” was recorded at Silo Studios with engineer Todd Divel during the Wild sessions. “After working with Tucker Martine, an amazing producer, on Watching It All Fall Apart we learned a lot of tricks and kind of how to manage ourselves more and how to hone in and attain the vision for the songs that we have in our head,” Anderson explains. “So it was easier, and it was also a bit more challenging ’cause there was a lot of time pressure. We were recording all these tracks in the middle of a tour, so it was kind of hectic and crazy and at times pretty stressful, but things like that create great art, I think.”
“Dawn” came out of the same three-day writing session that produced Wild‘s title track and several other songs — the first time in years that Fruition’s three songwriters got together in one place (in Asheville, N.C.) to work on material. “Usually we write on our own and bring songs to the table, but we were kind of interested in mixing it up and trying to do stuff together,” Anderson recalls. “At one point we were taking a break and Mimi picked up a guitar and got a riff going. I got a stream of consciousness flow going about how hectic days can be sometimes and how they can fly by, and when the song was finished we really dug it.”
Anderson isn’t predicting that Wild and Broken will turn into a night and day performance cycle yet. But he does predict that the songs will add a few different elements to the group’s live show as it tours to promote Broken.
“There’s definitely some things we’ve never done before that we’re going to be trying onstage, just because of the songs,” he says. “‘At the End of the Day’ has Tyler our drummer and Jeff Leonard our bass player playing brooms, which I saw at a Neil Young concert when he did ‘Harvest Moon’ and one of his drummers just played the broom. I just loved it and thought, ‘Man, if we could throw that into one of these songs that would be sweet’; Dreams come true, and it’s happening. And we have some other conceptual ideas that may also come along. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”