The Americana rock band Fretland released the single “Have Another Beer” on on April 1. (Jake Hanson)

The Americana rock band Fretland released the single “Have Another Beer” on on April 1. (Jake Hanson)

Grounded at home, Snohomish’s Fretland releases new music

The Americana band’s songs have been streamed a combined 250,000 times on all platforms.

The Snohomish band Fretland was about to go on tour in Europe to promote its new album when the coronavirus outbreak kept them home.

But that doesn’t mean the Americana rock band fronted by Hillary Grace Fretland has stopped releasing songs or performing shows.

The band’s single “Have Another Beer” was released on on April 1.

“It’s amazing,” Fretand said of the Billboard release. “When you’re about to release your first record and you’re anticipating touring and performing, and then that all gets taken away, we still have really good news to share.”

Fretland said “Have Another Beer” isn’t supposed to be a drinking song — although it very well can be.

“Ironically it’s about traveling and being home,” she said. “It’s about how we’re always looking for that next escape, but how it’s always been in our power to make the most of where we’re at. In an unexpected way, it’s the perfect song for right now.”

In addition to “Have Another Beer,” other singles they’ve released that will be on the 11-track album include “Long Haul,” “Black & Gold,” “Must’ve Been Wild” and “Heaven.” All together, their songs have been streamed a combined 250,000 times on all platforms.

The band — made up of Hillary Grace on lead vocals, Kenny Bates on drums, and Luke Francis and Jake Haber on bass and guitar — had about 22 shows scheduled in Europe to promote a self-titled album that drops May 22.

They had just finished a West Coast tour in February, and were about to fly out to Hamburg, Germany, when they realized it was best to stay put.

“We’re a touring band in a time where touring isn’t possible,” Haber said. “We’re all kind of in a limbo phase. We were transitioning into doing music full-time, so right now we’re doing some adjusting.”

One way they’re adjusting is by streaming performances during Washington’s stay-at-home order. Most recently, they recorded shows for North By Northwest and the Everett Music Initiative.

Haber said the band might be able to go on another U.S. tour they had planned for June — but he’s not banking on it. That one would take them to the South.

When Fretland formed in 2016, it was originally a sister act. Sisters Hillary Grace, 27, and Kara Belle, 25, fronted the band. Kara Bell left the band about a year ago. Fretland said the stress of performing and touring was getting to be too much for her sister.

“I miss her a ton,” Fretland said. “She’s an amazing vocalist and, of course, my sister. The door isn’t shut.”

The band is counting the days until the self-titled album is out. If you can’t wait, either, you can order the recording as soon as April 10. “Fretland” was recorded thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $14,000.

They also have plans to auction off on Facebook Live their first “test pressing” of the album, which is the first-ever-made vinyl record.

“We are super excited and motivated to keep this momentum,” Fretland said. “The album is so close, and we’re just anxious to see what’s next.”

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