Melbourne-based electronic artist, FRACTURES, is gearing up to unveil his highly anticipated album 'Shift LP' in June 2023, and the first mesmerizing single, 'Medium', set the stage for this transformative musical journey.
Departing from his folk roots, FRACTURES presents a captivating fusion of electronic house music and ethereal vocals. 'Medium' invites listeners into a gripping and atmospheric landscape, serving as an entry point to FRACTURES' world after a period of reflection and growth. This single, like others on the album, showcases FRACTURES' experimentation with his vocal style, creating a unique character and setting the tone for the forthcoming musical exploration.
Mark Zito, known as FRACTURES, is a talented singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Melbourne. With an impressive discography that has garnered immense support from renowned platforms such as triple j, The Guardian, and The Fader, FRACTURES has already amassed over 40 million global streams. Taking a step back to refine his craft and embrace the next phase of his career, FRACTURES found inspiration in the introspective process brought about by the uncertainties of the world. This translated into lyrical content infused with metaphorical cinematic imagery of the environment. As the world gradually reopened, FRACTURES embarked on a songwriting journey in the UK in 2022, with further travels planned for 2023, immersing himself in the dance music scene of Europe and the UK. Collaborating with esteemed artists like Anjunadeep and The Chainsmokers, FRACTURES has fearlessly dived into new creative depths. Signed to Fader Label, alongside notable artists like Clairo, FRACTURES is a rising talent poised for a groundbreaking musical shift with the 'Shift LP.'
We caught up with FRACTURES To discuss all things 'Shift LP' and his transition into this new era for his sonic.
As we've seen you depart from your folk, you sort of like folk roots. What was the defining moment when you realised you wanted to transition from folk music to electronic house music you've been making recently?
That's one of those things, hopefully, there's a statute of limitations, but I was at a friend's farm where he has this kind of psychedelic trip thing. It's an annual event, and I had this kind of epiphany, which was definitely somewhat spurred on by chemical alterations to my brain at that point in time. Fungal ones, if that's without spelling it out, but that it hit at two or three in the morning. I had some friends who were deeply into that kind of music showcasing their playlists or whatever, and it just, I don't know, it kind of made sense. It just hit me a lot harder than I ever had. That definitely kickstarted something and I kind of thought, oh, I'd love to recreate this feeling that I'm having, sober, so that's kind of the flame I've been chasing since then. I've just gone headfirst into it and then lockdown helped after that. I was kind of like, wow, got a lot of time to figure this out. So I kind of just sat there and tried to absorb as much of it as I could and emulate it in my own way. And so yeah, that one little farm party was, it was pretty influential. And I was dressed up as a monk as well if that's an important detail.
So you almost feel like you've been chasing that high to find that high again, sober through your music?
Kind of. I don't know, I just remember it wasn't necessarily that it was emotional music or anything like that, but it was just, I don't know, it was very a physical reaction almost to it. I just, I don't know. It made, like I said, it made sense, it was clarified. All these things I hadn't understood about electronic music and how it could have an impact. And I suppose mean I'm always going to do my spin on it, which is probably the more earnest emotion or whatever kind of thing. But yeah, I just wanted to try and even getting halfway there would be a pretty good result if you're not on unmentionables. So yeah, that kind of became the thing that drove me.
Did you find it challenging to leave your original route behind or did you pick it up quite naturally?
I was probably already halfway there, to be honest. when I started doing the Fractures thing nine years ago or whatever it was, the first song I ever put out was an electronic song that had guitars in it and things like that. It was adjacent to electronic music without being fully fledged. I didn't know as much about it, but it was kind of always there and I'd hint at it. I just kind of had a little break in the middle where I decided to make music with real instruments in the sense that they're acoustic instruments, not one's good or bad. Then in the fader period when I was on Fader label, I kind of got edged back towards the pop side of things. And once you're in on that kind of way of thinking and way of producing this all computer heavy, it's kind of not a huge lateral step. So yeah, short answer, no, it wasn't a huge leap or shock to the system or anything. It was just more that I had to abandon certain elements of the singer songwriter world I was in to make this work.
How have your fans responded to this change? Have you found yourself getting newer fans or have the original fans of Fractures stayed true?
It's hard to know because I mean, haven't had an overly vocal fan base. Even when streams were as high as they were and things like that. and creeping back up to now, I don't really get a great deal of feedback, so it's hard to know. The only things I noticed this year were, and maybe it's just typical of Facebook and the type of people who kind of use it, but yeah, they weren't as positive about the change. They didn't like my garbled voice and medium where I was doing performant shifting and that I think that shocked them to their core. So obviously I apologise to them for ruining their lives, but got to try some things out. So I think mostly positive, but it's hard. I don't know. The hardest thing I've found is playing shows is kind of reconciling me too. So I, for the time being have to just give a bit of a nod and a wink to the old songs where I can, which is maybe two songs that it can translate and then the rest probably just have to live on and Spotify archives until to go back that way. So it's probably the biggest challenge, but I think I'll find new fans and the ones who'd, the earnest stuff that I do, emotional stuff that I do, it's all in there.
Obviously, you got your upcoming project 'Shift LP.' How did you find your inspiration for this as it's very different from your original music? Did you find your inspiration process and the process behind it different?
Unlike, I don't know, I like at risk of further alienating myself more like my musical process isn't that romantic. I'm not a guy who gets divine inspiration or anything like that and has to rush down to write out a song, so I just sit there and noodled. And so the process was kind of similar in that way. And then I just sat there until I found something. And so as far as inspiring the album itself, it was more just trying to have continuity, which probably I'd suffered, not suffered from, but I'd failed to maybe completely realise in Last Works because I just write songs and put them back to back and go, there's an album. Whereas this time I wanted to go, well, let's kind of have a sonic palette. I guess it's kind of consistent throughout. And so that was probably maybe not inspiration as such, but it was certainly a framework that I worked towards where I'd never really done that before.
So yeah, it was a funny one, but just listening to other electronic artists and how they kind of meld genres and stuff and influences definitely steered me on my way. And I feel like this LP is me kind of finding my feet in it, and I certainly feel a lot more comfortable and established with the work I'm doing right now. So not to say it's bad, but it's just, I think the progression will be obvious. This is just me trying things out and throwing shit against the wall and seeing what's stuck and now I kind of have more of a handle of what I like about it, don't like, etc etc. So yeah, it was just having a direction I suppose was the biggest difference.
As just mentioned there, you're inspired by dance artists. I know you're heavily inspired by the UK and Europe's music scene. Did that create an impact on what you created?
Probably, I feel like if you heard what I was making now, you'd be like, okay, that's very UK-centric like post-album. But it was certainly there in Bits and Bobs, certain songs, certainly there's one called Secret on the album, which is basically What if Burial made a pop-structured song kind of thing. Know what I mean? It's dark and it's glooming, it's got all the clicks and cracks and stuff he's got, but it's a bit more radio-friendly.
So definitely depending on the track, there's inspiration there. One of them is a Max Cooper kind of, not a ripoff, but yeah, let's just call it a rip-off. It was me trying to do him kind of thing. But then there are some that are kind of Rufus to Soul-esque and whatever. So I feel like I was figuring out what sat most comfortably with me and some of that stuff I probably wouldn't revisit stylistically, but I kind of feel like I had to do it to figure out the next step. So as far as the UK thing, I think it's there and I'm hinting at it, but it's certainly probably taken whole a lot more since then.
So your lyrics are fueled by the uncertainty of the world at the moment, almost coming as a catalytic converter for your lyrical content. Did you try and take it in more of a positive or negative light?
I don't know, I tend to go towards a negative. I dunno why I'm, I'm outwardly kind of positive, but I guess that's my outlet to really sink into the depths. But I mean, it was lockdown then and I mean, I dunno how much you know about the Melbourne Lockdowns, but they were long and they were restrictive. So they were, there were probably elements of them I liked, but it certainly made you very introspective whether or not you wanted to be or not. So it was, you were faced with your own, I don't know, existential place, place or whatever, trying to place myself in the world and trying to find, find direction when there was none for anyone. Everyone kind of had that feeling. So it was very much mine in that a lot of the songs, the ones were not recruiting to some imaginary woman, are basically just like mini existential crisis. Me calling up for help with direction or trying to figure out where I'm at professionally, personally, whatever it is. So yeah, it was definitely 100% spurred on by Lockdowns and Covid. I'm still kind of trying to shake those lyrical themes a bit because otherwise it just sounds like my life is totally, bleak.
And it's, I've got a lot to be grateful for. But at that point in time I was kind of like, shit, what's the point? So it was just grappling with that and getting it out there, and I feel like it was kind of a pretty universal theme, which definitely still lingers for a lot of people. So yeah, it's hopefully not one of those time capsule things. It doesn't make any sense out of context. But yeah, it's just my way of dealing with it because otherwise I don't know. I didn't really have an outlet, so that's where it ended up.
I feel like a lot of people use the arts, her music or actual art as an outlet during that time. It was definitely horrible. Thank you for your time. Really appreciate it. And yeah, I look forward to hearing the project.