I’d received an email from Dom in mid-February, introducing a video for his second release Help is Needed, from his new album Deserts. I wasn’t prepared for what followed. I watched the video, and it touched my heart and brought a tear to my eye. I featured the video in my New Music Spotlight the next day.
There was a little back and forth in email with Dom, and we agreed to meet up when he arrived in Toronto for his show at Burdock. On show day, we met and chatted for about an hour. He was friendly, warm, open, cheery and funny. I’d done some research, and it felt to me like the drinking musician has been replaced with one who values his health more than impressions. And while we sipped our coffee and kombucha, and got to know each other, his energy was infectious.
When I asked Fricot about his early influences, he listed off some 90’s grunge/post-grunge bands including Nirvana but the one that stood out was Silverchair. The band was very young when they hit it big, and with that, they showed kids everywhere, including Dom, that this music thing was a real possibility. Fricot made the decision he wanted to be a singer-songwriter. But writing songs isn’t easy. Finding your voice can take time, and when Dom’s dad passed away, he found that voice. Recalling playing his first performance in a coffee house, where he played his first original song, he told me that his mom took him aside afterwards. She told him that he should have let her know beforehand and he expressed that there’s a piece of shame that goes with that.
It was refreshing to talk to someone so open about his emotions and in particular the shame component, it’s something we don’t often discuss openly and Dom gets mad respect from me for this. It’s an important emotion that we tend to sublimate into something else more socially palatable.
Expressing feelings is something that Fricot is very comfortable with. His lyrics continue to reach deep but, this album is a little less sad. The new album, Deserts was recorded in 3 weeks during “regular” hours with no all-night sessions included, and it works.
Deserts is an album that consists of me, my Rhodes keyboard, and whatever vocal or heavily treated beatbox loop I came up with. I approached David Vertesi (Hey Ocean!), who I’ve wanted to work with since and told him about my flirtation with this vibe that resembled post Genesis/modern Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel. His eyes lit up, and after showing him some demos, he was most eager to dive headfirst into the rabbit hole with me. Alongside David, co-producer Andrew Rasmussen, and engineer Daniel Klenner, I made a record without guitars or live drums – two staples of my previous work.
Although the album was recorded without a band, we had the pleasure of seeing Dom perform with one. In a move that had Fricot maybe moving a little bit out of his comfort zone had him put down the guitar and engage directly with the audience without any barriers. It was fun and intimate and I’m a fan of this move. The room at Burdock was full, and the crowd was fully in. And when some audience participation was requested, it was met with some giggles, followed by a full buy-in.
Dom has a few more dates coming up so check out the schedule and if he’s headed to your city make sure you get out to see him.
Mar 16 – Medicine Hat, AB – Cafe Verve
Mar 18 – Calgary, AB – Ironwood Stage and Grill
Mar 21 – Canmore, AB – House Show
Mar 22 – Edmonton, AB – The Mercury Room
Mar 24 Golden, BC – Rockwater
Mar 30 – Vancouver, BC – Fox Cabaret
Dom Fricot – Desert Track List
2. Help is Needed
3. Time Flies
4. Measure Up
6. Meredith Clark
7. Hold You
8. Slippery Slope
You can pre-order the album here.