Whether one seeks it out or it simply presents itself, change is an inevitability. Should one embrace it? Grapple with it? Fight it? These are the questions Martin Frawley unpacks as he steps into the spotlight for Undone at 31, his first album as a solo artist and the start of a new chapter for the Melbourne songwriter.
Those familiar with Frawley’s time as co-leader of Twerps will take comfort in hearing his deceptively simple songwriting is still intact, but the big reveal here is how new instrumentation and influences seamlessly expand Frawley’s playground. It might take several listens for one to realize Frawley is singing “Something About Me” over just violin, Moog, and a Graceland-esque bassline, or to appreciate the PB+J pairing of Fender Rhodes and lap steel on “Where the Heart Is,” which serves as Undone at 31’s twist ending. Frawley’s album does not shy away from morbid musings and raw emotions that come with a breakup, and like Shoot Out the Lights or Sea Change, Undone at 31’s tunefulness and exploration combined are what elevate the music above the melancholy subject matter.
Undone at 31 is out 22nd February on Merge Records.