“flurries of rippling arpeggios, rich ringing chord clusters and long, sustained single notes that hang in the air” – San Francisco Chronicle


The ten-song collection of Backyards completes multi-instrumentalist Henry Frayne’s most compelling work to date where he crafts musical landscapes interweaving layers of warm, instrumental sonic tapestries. For Frayne, the inception of Backyards began almost a decade ago and is a culmination of his career as a versatile musician best known for blending genres and bending guitar styles to create layers of airy overtones. For this album, most of the songs sprung from an orphaned blond Conrad hollow body six-string bequeath from a friend in 1995 along with a Gibson acoustic, purchased in a Maine farmyard circa 1983 for $5, after having survived a fire. Frayne composed the underlying textures of the record with a heavy influence from the Nashville tuning, the practice of utilizing very light strings to produce an angelic sound, learned from bandmate Brendan Gamble from their time in The Moon Seven Times.


Recording for Backyards began in 2008 with drummer Louie Simon, known best for his work in Proof of Utah, in Mahomet, Illinois at Waterworks Audio (which happens to sit atop the all-important Mahomet Aquifer) with co-producer/engineer Mike Brosco. It was here the album began to take shape. Meticulously, the rhythms and virtuous melodies were expanded by layered, echoing guitars accompanied by Brosco’s haunting tape-effects lurking in the far dark corners of the mixes. Longtime Champaign-Urbana based producer Adam Schmitt contributed the rolling bassline on the song “Sicily” to tie it all together.