The Frames ‘Revelate’ and Self-Actualization

I love this song by The Frames. I love pretty much all their songs actually so it was really hard to choose which one to put up here. I first saw the Frames by chance when they opened up for Damien Rice in Spokane back in 2004. I was standing in line to pick up tickets with some friends when I saw a billboard on the wall praising them, and that intrigued me so I decided to watch them open up instead of going to get a drink with the friends there to see Rice. It was a life-altering decision for me, the music of The Frames has been by my side ever since.

Glen Hansard, the lead singer, is one of the great living existentialists. His lyrics are always penetrating. The fact that he’s such a great singer/songwriter and that The Frames are such an epic band makes for an amazing whole.

The story behind this music video is pretty cool. They had just gotten dropped from their label and were trying to make a go of it as an independent band in Ireland. They were strapped for cash, so much so that after band practice they would search through bushes on the side of the road for stray coins so that they could get something to eat. They made the music video above for about two dollars, paying the security guard at a post office to use its camera for all their shots. It ended up getting massive airplay.

Hansard’s journey is one of uncompromising integrity. He was willing to be dropped from two different labels because he didn’t want to cheapen his music to get it popular. Through the trials and tribulations he just kept going, even as many band members quit over the years due to how little money they were making. But Glen stuck with it, and obviously now he’s internationally famous. What will really seal it all for me is when he comes back to make another full on Frames album. The last one they did was ‘The Cost’ in 2008. Since then he’s done some other stuff with ‘The Swell Season’ and also put out albums under his own name, and he ends up recruiting pretty much the whole band both for recording and playing his songs live anyway, but the tone and feel are a little bit different. The Frames entity is my favorite incarnation, it’s bigger than any one person in the band, even Glen.

I’ve been to quite a few Frames shows and they were all awesome in their own way. Glen is so concerned with community, with getting the crowd fully involved in what is going on, including having them sing parts to songs. It’s a raucous good time and you leave feeling inspired.

There are a lot of Frames songs that work well for Yoga, depending on the mood you’re trying to capture. Obviously this one is more of a rocker, probably best used during a flow where warrior 2 and extended side angle are in the picture, where there’s a lot of movement but also the strenuous holding of poses.

The album Fitzcaraldo includes the song ‘Revelate’ and a bunch of other great tunes that represented a major step forward in musicianship for the band. Other hits on this one include ‘Red Chord’ and ‘Fitzcaraldo’, but really every song on this album is great.

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