The 2011 smash hit ‘Something In The Water’ brought New Zealand songwriter Brooke Fraser to the world stage.
As Brooke embarks on her next musical journey in 2013, collaborating with old friends and new for the fourth album of her career, she can pause to reflect on a steady trajectory that has seen her willing to make brave choices like self-producing her third and most successful album Flags.
Brooke’s journey began in 2002. A precociously talented 18 year-old singer songwriter, she signed to Sony Records and within a year had released her debut album What To Do With Daylight, an eight-times Platinum success story in her native New Zealand that also earned Brooke her first pair of New Zealand Music Award “Tuis”.
Touring Australasia with artists like John Mayer and David Bowie opened Brooke’s eyes to the musical world out here but it was a personal trip to Rwanda which most informed – and gave name to – her second album Albertine.
This time, the songs spread further across the airwaves. Radio stations in Australia and America were in the thrall of ‘Shadowfeet’ and Brooke toured the world through 2008. An Editors Choice at Itunes in the US, Albertine climbed as high as #5 on the charts there and the album clocked up five times Platinum sales in New Zealand and matched her debut effort’s Gold sales in Australia.
The album title track won New Zealand’s prestigious songwriting award, the APRA Silver Scroll, and a further three Tuis at the NZ Music Awards.
Then it was time for her breakthrough single ‘Something In the Water’ and the album Flags. A 2011 smash hit across Europe, the UK, and Australasia, the infectiously charming single hit Platinum in Germany and New Zealand and Gold in Italy.
It also reached the Top 10 in Austria and Switzerland, Top 20 in Holland and Belgium, and held the top spot on the BBC Radio 2 playlist in the UK as well as being the ninth most played track of 2011 on the German airwaves. US industry bible Billboard noted it as an “incredibly catchy and immediately likeable”.
‘Something in the Water’ propelled Flags to triple Platinum album sales in her home country, Gold again in Australia, and to reach #6 in the German top 10 Album chart and a peak spot of #59 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.
Flags earned Brooke a total of five New Zealand Music Award Tuis and critics were in its thrall. The NZ Herald proclaimed it “beguiling”, the BBC called her “an artist comfortable in her craft” and fellow UK outlet More Than Music called Brooke a “strong songwriter” who “deserved attention long long ago”. In the States, Seattle Times called Flags a “collection of alternative pop that highlights Fraser’s stunning, versatile soprano” and Vivoscene said “In short, an irresistible record and a strong indication of a long and immeasurably rich career to come”.
Glide Magazine described Flags as “a wonder. From the stunning lyrical imagery, Fraser’s ethereal and breathy performances to the wide-ranging soundscapes, this record is drenched in beauty and stands as one of the more remarkable albums of the year.”
Touring relentlessly across Europe, North America and Australasia, Brooke performed to packed out crowds, sharing not just the hits but her legendary dry wit and warm stage presence, filling the rooms with laughter as she twisted her natural New Zealand vowel sounds around her odd pronouncements in foreign languages.
Reviewing her live shows, Australian Times said watching her “is truly an unforgettable display of real emotion and dreamy melodies”.
Having previously recorded in New Zealand (the 2003 debut What To Do With Daylight) and Los Angeles (Albertine and Flags), Brooke is currently camped in Scandanavia completing the writing of her new project, an album she promises will be a “significant propulsion into new territory”.
From European UNESCO World Heritage sites to London bedsits and remote Australian beaches, the album has been crafted thus far solely in Brooke’s portable studio set up, and focuses on setting her strong melodies against an altogether different palette than fans may be used to.
Brooke’s musical evolution is set to be one of the exciting musical discoveries of 2013.
Brooke Fraser CDs (Release Dates)
What To Do With Daylight (29 October 2003)
What To Do With Daylight CD + Bonus DVD (29 July 2004)
Albertine (1 December 2006)
Albertine Deluxe Edition (3 December 2007)
Flags (11 October 2010)
Flags Deluxe Edition (11 October 2010)
Singles (Release Dates)
“Better” (4 August 2003)
“Saving The World” (13 April 2004)
“Arithmetic” (16 August 2004)
“Without You” (17 January 2005)
“Deciphering Me” (17 November 2006)
“Shadowfeet” (9 March 2007)
“Albertine” (1 December 2006)
“Something In The Water” (1 August 2010)