The first time they ever made music together, Fruition’s three lead singer-songwriters discovered that their voices naturally blended into beautiful three-part harmonies. In the eight years since that impromptu busking session, the Portland, Oregon-based quintet has grown from a rootsy, string-centric outfit to a full-fledged rock band with an easy but powerful grasp of soul, blues, and British Invasion era pop.
On their new album Labor of Love, Fruition shows the complete force of their newly expanded sound, matching their more daring musicality with sophisticated, melody-minded song craft. The album subtly imparts the sense of being swept along on a journey, one reflecting an open-hearted spirit that sets in from the first notes of the dobro, mandolin and electric guitar driven title track, carries on to the sleepy soul of “Santa Fe,” and unfolds into the epic balladry of “The Meaning.”
“A common theme for all three songwriters is trying to embrace being out on the road all the time, but also feeling like you’re missing out on the everyday lifestyle that most people get to have,” says Leonard. Embedded within that tension is a wistful romanticism that imbues many of the album’s songs. “Most of the love songs are very much about those rare moments of getting to be with the people you love,” says Anderson. “And then other songs are about coming back to the people you love, and trying to deal with the strange ways things change because of being apart.”
After releasing their debut EP Hawthorne Hoedown in 2008, Fruition moved from busking on the street, to scraping their way onto the lower levels of festival lineups, to opening tours for bands like ALO and Greensky Bluegrass and onward, to being invited to play bigger festivals with ever bigger billing on those lineups.
Last year saw them appear at Bonnaroo, Northwest String Summit and Telluride Bluegrass where Rolling Stone cited their artful choice of covers and “raucous originals filled with heartfelt lyrics and stadium-worthy energy.” This year will see them share a Red Rocks bill with JJ Grey and Mofro and The Infamous Stringdusters, along with a full headline tour of the United States.
That breadth of touring experience has steadily reshaped the band and ultimately allowed them to achieve a sound they’ve long aspired toward. “We all tend to write on acoustic guitar and let things start in the same stripped-down, folky sort of way that we always did,” says Naja. “So where the songs come from hasn’t really changed much at all. What’s different is where we let them go from there.”
Fruition - Labor of Love [Official Video]
Fruition - Above The Line [Live]
Fruition - The Meaning (Live)
Fruition - Labor of Love (Live)
Fruition - The Meaning (Gondola Session)
Fruition - I Can't Stop (Live)
Fruition - Meet Me On The Mountain (Gondola Session)
""Labor Of Love" is a startling complete record, sure of itself and what it's trying to say. Fruition have reached a new level with this album, but if their past is anything to judge them by, there is much to look forward to from Fruition. But until then, they've given the world a wonderful example of what dedication and soul can accomplish when people work together." - Rex Thomson, Live For Live Music
""Labor of Love" remains a joy to play over and over again." - Showbams
"Fruition have grown into a rock band in recent years, albeit with string proclivities, pop ambitions, and exceptional harmonies.” - Relix Magazine
“The group's most accomplished album yet, one that turns up the volume and embraces rock and soul influences next to the group's acoustic, Americana core. Ask anyone about Fruition, and mouths open with praise.” - David Greenwald, The Oregonian
"The title track is a great indication of what to expect from the album, Labor of Love; mature, bold and captivating sound with strong production and lyrical content." - Sound & Silence
"With new album Labor of Love, the group is making a concerted effort to expand its reach, drawing from a wider palette of influences, from soul to pop, and nudging the volume upward. It's not about distancing themselves from the labels already ascribed to them. It's about making other people see them for the kind of band they've always thought they were." - Matthew Singer, Willamette Week
"One of the best surprises of the night was the opening performance by Fruition. I stood in awe watching this truly elated group of artists and musicians let their souls shine right before our eyes. Their delivery can be best described as genuine and organic, something the crowd took to very well. The instrumentation was exceptional, a sound that was on point with a only the best jamgrass pickers on the scene." – Suzy G, Live Music Daily
“When Fruition took the stage a little after 9 p.m. there were only a handful of audience members on the dance floor. The audience grew as the set continued with more than a few “wow, these guys are good” comments overheard. The quintet kicked off their short set with three songs of their recently released Just One Of Them Nights LP, which showed off Fruition’s rustic vibe, genre-bending sound and earnest songwriting. The group tipped their hat to local legends Velvet Underground with a riveting take on “Walk & Talk” that’s deliciously far from what Lou Reed had originally envisioned.” - Suzy Perler, Jambase
"True to its name, this Portland, Oregon quintet combines rock, bluegrass and folk to blend into an earthy and fulfilling whole. Two guitars and a mandolin bring the rustic backwoods to their sound and they sure can pick when they open the throttle as on the appropriately named “Boil Over” and “The Wanter.” This is Americana of the highest order, driven by charming three-part harmonies that never feel forced." - Hal Horowitz, American Songwriter
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