Luke Frees
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Luke Frees

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2022

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Established on Jan, 2022
Solo Rock Singer/Songwriter

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"Luke Frees is Convinced "She's a Chameleon," in His Latest Ferverous Single"

Berklee College of Music student Luke Frees is proving that it's time for his charismatic, fun-loving sound to be heard.


Releasing his first debut album in 2019, titled "The Lost Weekend," Luke Frees was able to hone his skills learned from school so that he could craft an album with tenacity and heart. And, he didn't stop with the album release, as he offers a frolicsome atmosphere for listeners to truly revel in.


"She's a Chameleon" is your ultimate three-minute and twenty-six-second diversion. Luke Frees demonstrates how truly free he is in this tune, as he maintains a completely carefree vocal tone for the entirety of the song. "She's a Chameleon" is robust and flavourful with its ambiance, as colorful acoustics make up the majority of the melody.


Luke Frees isn't being conservative in this song with the lyrics either, as he's chanting his truth and ultimate perceptions on a particular woman. The song centers around a narrative of a woman who is liked and loved amongst many, and yet, her whole being is shaped around who she is with. Many inauthentic versions of herself get portrayed, and Luke Frees uses a strong metaphor with the use of the word "chameleon."


We are left intrigued by, "She's a Chameleon," which was a unique and fun tune from Luke Frees, that demonstrated both his thought-provoking songwriting abilities and his lively artistic persona.



Welcome to BuzzMusic Luke, and congratulations on the successful debut of "She's a Chameleon." Right off the bat, how do you feel this song compares to the songs presented in your 2019 album, "The Lost Weekend?"

So I think overall this song feels a little more catchy and focused lyrically than some of the things on The Lost Weekend. That album is really a collection of songs I was writing at Berklee, and with this third record, I tried to make every song stand on its own. I think TLW was a good starting point for me but I’m really excited about the direction my new stuff’s going in.


With a clear narrative in place, "She's a Chameleon" seemed somewhat targeted. Was there a specific person in mind whilst you were writing the content for the song? How do you often garner your inspiration for your songs?

This isn’t targeted at a specific person per se, but it’s definitely pulled from real-life experiences with fake friends and people who are only interested in you if they can get something out of you. As far as garnering inspiration, I used to like to take something that happened in my life and twist it and distort it and come up with these exaggerated narratives that end up being fictitious. I used to do that a lot more, but with this album, I’m writing more personally (I fell in love, for starters, and that’s featured heavily haha), and I also moved cities, so there’s a bittersweet undercurrent that runs through the whole thing.


The melody and overall production in "She's a Chameleon" were full of vibrant life. Can you elaborate more on your strategy behind the vocal approach you took on in this song?

And thank you for the comment about it sounding full of vibrant life!! I think the best songs have a lot of juxtaposition, so I wanted to write a song with scathing lyrics that had a really fun and singable chorus. I put a lot of thought into my lyrics, but I’ve always found the more thought you put into your melodies, the more likely you are to overthink it. So I just had this riff on the guitar, started a Voice Memo, and followed my gut with the melody, and really didn’t change it much after that.


What was the overall hope and purpose of releasing "She's a Chameleon?"

My overall hope and purpose are to kick off this album cycle with a banger I’m really proud of. It has all my friends playing on it, and I really wanted the first single to feel like a party. The album’s going to be called Point Of You, and the full thing’s out in November and I can’t wait. I think this might be my favorite one yet—it’s definitely been the most fun to record and work on. - BuzzMusic


"Meet Luke Frees | Singer/Songwriter"

We had the good fortune of connecting with Luke Frees and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Luke, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I remember when I was in high school, I’d already narrowed down my career to be at least something pertaining to music, and a lot of people (academic advisors, math teachers…you name it) would tell me that to be a musician you had to either study music education or roll the dice and be a performer, hoping that you’d get lucky enough to support yourself that way. For a while, I went back and forth between those two options, wondering if I had what it’d take to make music for a living. One day, I asked my guitar instructor what he thought, and he looked me dead in the eyes and said “Luke, the world doesn’t need any more half-assed teachers. What do you actually want to do?” And that got me thinking. When I’m 80, reflecting on what I did with my life, would I feel like a wrinkled, deflated balloon, who never really went for it? Nah…I’d much rather live as deeply as I can, have as many experiences as I can, make ends meet however I can, and hope that somehow, at the end of all this, I’ll feel full and satisfied. Like I really did something.


Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I write songs and make music, and it’s something I’ve done since I was five years old. I just finished producing my third album, called Point Of You, which will be streaming everywhere on November 26th. For me, songs are a way I process what’s been going on in my life and organize my thoughts and opinions about things. The process of writing a song usually starts from something that happened to me in real life, and then gets morphed, distorted, and twisted into a little fractured 3-minute narrative. I started writing in my hometown outside of Chicago, before leaving for Boston to study songwriting at Berklee College of Music. I recorded two solo albums and an EP in Boston, and formed a band while I was there, too. We continued playing around the area until COVID hit and we all went our separate ways. Then I spent some time writing a novel and working on material for this new album before hitting the road again for LA, where I finished the record. One of the challenges I’ve had to overcome is maintaining motivation to write and release music during the pandemic, even if that means I won’t be playing the songs out any time soon. It’s really made me look deep inside myself and question why I’m doing this–is it for the validation a packed room can bring? Or would I be happy just to write these songs and play them for my two cats? The fact that even as I sit here now, writing this out, my mind’s wandering to my newly re-strung guitar in the other room, tells me yes, I’m happy just to be making music.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d take them to Echo Park, we’d definitely hit up Maury’s Bagels in Silver Lake and Walt’s Bar in Eagle Rock, and probably for a drive along Mulholland. There’s an overlook up there near the Hollywood Bowl, where I took my girlfriend Annie on our first date. We ate Thai food on a blanket at this pull-off where you can see the sign, and it was such an important moment in my life that I reference it specifically in my single called Secondhand City–which is about a night out in LA.


Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate this to my family, who’ve been supportive of me since before I could even talk, my friends in LA, without whom I couldn’t have made this new album, the teachers I’ve had since I started making music, and my girlfriend, Annie, who calls me out when I’m phoning it in and reminds me to hold myself to a high standard. - Shoutout LA


"Meet Luke Frees"

Today we’d like to introduce you to Luke Frees.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and started playing music when I was four, after watching an Elton John live in Madison Square Garden concert on TV. For a while, I just learned piano, but then I started singing and playing guitar too. That led to me writing my own songs and playing them in bands all throughout middle school and high school.

I then went to Berklee College of Music in Boston and played in a band called The Cotones there. We made a name for ourselves in the Allston house show circuit and eventually released one full-length album called Imaginary Friends. While I was in Boston, I also wrote and produced an EP called After The Rain in 2017 and a full-length album called The Lost Weekend in 2019. After graduating, I moved out to Brookline and wrote and produced my second album, called Some Easy Blood, which came out in October of 2020. This album was recorded guerilla-style in a home studio I’d put together with my roommates. We pooled all our resources and gear together and everyone pitched into work on the project. All of these albums can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, or pretty much any other streaming service.

I left Boston in early 2020 after The Cotones disbanded, and eventually I found myself in L.A., where I started working on a third solo record. This album is going to be called Point Of You and is set for release in the fall of 2021.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I’m incredibly fortunate to have the support of my family and friends, so my ride has been smoother than a lot of peoples’, but I still find it hard to keep moving sometimes. The pandemic, for example, closed down the live music scene and so many local venues and tiny hole-in-the-wall bars that used to have bands play have closed permanently. That being said, I’ve always believed in music as therapy and I always get a huge wave of release when I write music, so I channel a lot of these heavy emotions into the songs I write. Maybe that’s why I write so many bummer songs…

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m a songwriter and producer, and I play guitar, piano, and I sing. I’ve released two full-length albums and one EP on my own and one full-length album with my old band. I think one of the things that set me apart from other people is my work ethic. When I was at school in Boston, for every songwriting class we had, we had to write one song for it every week. So there were some semesters where I might’ve been taking three songwriting classes and I’d have to write three songs every week. This has helped me be less judgmental of my creative work, which allows me to write at a furiously fast pace, look at the songs objectively, and put out the best ones. I’m a huge admirer of artists like Prince and Bob Dylan, who would write ten times as many songs as what would eventually be released.

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Risk taking is essential in any aspect of the arts. If you aren’t saying something that scares you a little in your songs or producing things that make you feel like your feet aren’t quite touching the bottom, you’re not trying hard enough. There are too many musicians in the world. We don’t need any more than half-ass the job. Another artist I look up to is David Bowie, and what I like most about him was his fearlessness in doing exactly that. He was always pushing the envelope a little further than people were comfortable with, and in doing that, he made some music nobody else could’ve dreamt of. - Voyage LA


Discography

EPs:
After The Rain - 2017

LPs:
The Lost Weekend - 2019
Some Easy Blood - 2020
Point Of You - 2021

Singles:
Gimme Some Time (To Prove U Wrong) - 2022
Climbing - 2022
Love Song No. 125 - 2022

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Bio

Luke Frees is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, performer, and producer living in Chicago. His songs are melodic and have a strong emphasis on narratives, with lyrics that often tell a story.

After years of writing songs on his own and with various bands, Luke began studying songwriting and production at Berklee College of Music. Luke wrote, recorded, and produced a solo EP in early 2017, entitled After The Rain, which was heavily influenced by David Bowie and Nick Cave. In the fall of 2017, Luke formed a band called The Cotones with three other friends from school. Their first and only album, Imaginary Friends, was released in March of 2020 on Upsurge Records.

His first full-length solo album, The Lost Weekend, was released on May 5, 2019, and consists of several songs he wrote while at Berklee. Luke released its followup, Some Easy Blood, in October of 2020, after the breakup of The Cotones. This album draws influences from artists like Tom Waits and The Cure, and details a collapsing relationship against the backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Luke’s third album, Point Of You, was written and recorded after he made the move to L.A. Its generally upbeat spirit features a wide range of collaborations with friends, family, and ex-bandmates, and was released in November of 2021. The first single, “She’s A Chameleon,” has a lively, party-style ambiance, which augments lyrics that talk about a fake friend who tries to get people to like her by putting on different personalities and guises. The album explores themes like falling in love, starting over, and moving onto a new chapter.

Luke moved back to Chicago in the fall of 2021, and beginning with “Gimme Some Time (To Prove U Wrong)” and “Climbing” in 2022, he has been releasing music one single at a time. He continues to perform regularly in and around the Midwest, playing both covers sets and original sets.

Band Members