Irish-French, Melbourne based singer-songwriter Sean Frayne has found himself immersed in music essentially his whole life. Garnering influence from his father, an avid guitar player, Sean was introduced to the guitar at an early age starting with a three-chord songbook filled with Bob Dylan and Beatles tunes. Sean has since developed a resonating sound in the world of synth-pop tastefully reminiscent of the 80’s, yet superbly in-line with more modern indie/synth-pop sound of groups like WALK THE MOON, Tame Impala and even more soulful artists like Hozier. Sean’s unique take on a growing style of music caught our attention at Melophobe, and we just had to learn more.
The Australian-based Indie artist saw his career begin to pick up steam a little over a year ago with the release of his self-titled full-length album, following about three years of single releases alongside a few EPs. Featuring a couple of Sean’s previously released singles, Seven Kisses and Haunting You, the album was created in a small studio space over the course of most of 2021 and the early part of 2022. Encapsulating the true spirit of DIY, which we at Melophobe certainly have a soft spot for, Sean essentially worked full-time to put the record together. The final result was a stellar collection of tracks showcasing Frayne’s wide-spanning vocal range alongside some extremely catchy keyboard and guitar licks. “To get it across the line, I booked in the mastering session [for the album] before I had finished mixing - because invariably, the perfectionist in me would keep dragging it out and never finish.” In listening to the record, it’s pretty clear Sean is indeed a perfectionist, with not one note being out of place, alongside an extensive amount of sound being added through layering in the tracks.
Haunting You remains one of Sean’s most streamed tracks, and the first song that introduced us to the singer-songwriter’s music when it came to me as a song submission for my Indie and Alternative Playlist before the creation of Melophobe. When asked about the influence and creative process of the song, Sean said - “Haunting You started with a synth melody that I landed on having just borrowed a Juno 106 synth (from Dan at Fall Back Studios) - it was literally the first thing that my fingers went to and I thought, “oooh that sounds a bit spooky". From there I picked up my guitar and started humming some nonsense words over the top and I think, again, I just landed on the words Haunting You at the end of one line. I wrote it based on a bunch of past relationships and how those memories can linger, even years after the fact.”
Alongside Haunting You, Sean also had some interesting words to say about one of his singles releases this year I Don’t have the Words - “[The song] started as an upbeat indie pop/rock track which I then shelved for six months or so. Until one fine day in May last year, I was doing a songwriting session with my friend Parke and was playing a few ideas for him. He picked that one out of the bunch to work on, so we tried some melodies and lyrics over it. I liked the idea of it being a first love type heartbreak, reminiscing on things that a young couple might do (mixed in with some real-life stuff). I think a lot of songwriters get sick of writing love songs, but that's probably just because we get older and a bit jaded, so I put that feeling aside for this one. From there I spent another 3 weeks re-recording all the parts (several times!) in the studio space I had in Brisbane and put in hours of production and mixing time. All up it was nearly a year in the making.”
In speaking with Sean, it seems what has propelled his growing success more than anything else is putting the craft of writing good music ahead of everything else. People will resonate with what they are going to resonate with and if people like the output, the success will follow. Things get dicey when the songwriting itself falls from the forefront.
Sean’s career really started to pick up steam within the last year and a half or so with him winning a month's residency at 4000 Studios in Brisbane. This opportunity allowed him to connect with other industry professionals in residence such as Danny Harley from The Kite String Tangle alongside Dominik Felsmann and Elle Graham from Woodes. Sean was also able to connect and bounce ideas with Konstantin Kersting, producer of DMA's, Spacey Jane and Tones And I. Sean has also received some national Airplay in Australia alongside being frequently playlisted on top-tier Spotify Playlists all over the world, introducing his music to a national audience. Sean has found that most of his listeners are in North America and The UK alongside a growing number of more local listeners in Australia.
Beyond his music career, Sean Frayne has led a multifaceted life working in a handful of different fields. He has worked as a product designer, design manager, and even ran his own business selling Australian-themed souvenirs at duty free stores in Australia. Additionally, he has a background in fine art and digital media, having studied these disciplines and sold his paintings on the streets of Dublin. At one point in his time in Ireland, Sean also made merchandise for Guinness
Right now, Sean has no immediate plans of playing outside of Australia, but with his growing exposure, and continued release of new music, many indie artists of the past may tell you, that could change pretty quickly. We at Melophobe have had our eye on Sean for quite some time now and for those fans of the synth-pop side of indie, we would suggest ought to as well. With such an impressive catalog of music so far, we are excited to see what more Sean has instore for the future.
Be sure to check out Sean's new release Miarge (Sean's Version) with Slow Coast coming out July 1st! You can also find Sean on Instagram @seanfraynemusic or on Facebook!