Throughout the album, Anderson’s vocals move with equal ease from driving power pop to lyrical introspection. Emotional, cathartic, and deeply personal, his music is modern, fresh, and authentic.
“FRAME means many things to me,” says Anderson about the new collection. “It’s a single moment captured on film that comes to represent something or someone, it’s the size and structure of our bodies, it’s the way we make collective meaning around a topic or event, it’s a rigid structure that surrounds or encloses something.”
“In writing this album I was exploring all of these definitions but I kept coming back to perception – How others define us vs how we define ourselves and how those two things can blur,” he added. “How the images others have of us effect the images we see and how the frame they are placed in effects it all.”
One of the album’s highlights, “Shadows,” was originally on Anderson’s album Guitars & Grievances ten years ago. But years later, he realized he “hadn’t identified what the shadows referenced in the song really were, I just knew they were there.”
Anderson came to understand those shadows were “the voices in my head that society had put there – voices that said I wasn’t enough, that I had to be and act a certain way to be successful and be loved, especially as an LGBTQ person.”
But living through the isolation of the pandemic, he found those voices were suddenly quiet and he “began to see parts of myself I had forgotten were there.” The new perspective led him to revisit the song and that actually sparked the idea for the entire album.
There is something in the darkness / it’s keeping me from you
It’s got thunder, it’s got lightning / And I can’t see through
Anderson says the title track of the album, “Frame,” represents the moment of discovery when he could see the whole picture.
“I saw the frame that society wanted to see me in and I saw that I had stepped into it,” says the artist. “I realized I wasn’t the only one trapped in the confines of what society expects or accepts.”
“The song is really my declaration of independence and my invitation to follow,” he adds.
But now I see what you’re doing to me
You dull my light so you don’t have to see
All the things you’d never let yourself be
Upon finishing the album, Anderson realized that his epiphany about the “frame” he’d been trapped in and the power of stepping out of it left him with some regrets. He considered what might have been if he’d found his authentic self earlier.
So he wrote the airy and majestic “Freedom” as a coda – “a song about forgiving myself and accepting that this is my journey and I wouldn’t be the person I am now without it.”
And I won’t regret my path, It’s what led me here
And every heartache and goodbye
Every change that passed me by is lost
It wasn’t meant to stay
It’s a standout track that lands perfectly as the final punctuation of a richly-layered and thoughtful collection.
Instinct Magazine previously reviewed Anderson’s soaring pop anthem “Reborn,” also in this collection, last fall.
FRAME is available now on all major music platforms, and make sure you follow Brandon Anderson on Instagram.