Fred Abong “Heaven”
man holding a snow globe

Fred Abong “Heaven”


New Orleans-based alternative folk-rock artist Fred Abong presents ‘Heaven’, the first taste of his new ‘Blindness’ album, to be released on May 9 via Moochin’ About Records. While most famously associated with the bass guitar, Abong wrote this material for this album on the piano, effectively opening up a new compositional and emotional space for him.

His eighth long-player to date, Abong is no stranger to the US alternative music realm, having got his musical start in the 1980’s on the Rhode Island hardcore punk scene. In the early 1990s, he played bass for Throwing Muses and then Belly. Putting music on hold for academic pursuits, he then earned a PhD in Humanities and taught at various universities for eight years before returning to music. Now back as a solo artist, Abong also plays bass in the Kristin Hersh Electric Trio.

“Heaven is probably the most straightforward song on ‘Blindness’. It’s kind of an anthemic rock ballad, delivered in my own understated version of theatricality and drama. There’s maybe even a touch of Broadway in there, much to my embarrassment … but there you have it. Lyrically, it’s pretty downbeat, but what else is new? I am, always have been, and always will be a seeker after something truer and more ideal than what I find in the social and cultural sphere,” says Fred Abong.

“Heaven is just one of many musical snapshots of an ongoing struggle to find or create an earthly paradise for myself and my loved ones and the disappointment and growing exhaustion of coming up empty again (and again). To be clear, Heaven is not an ode to the afterlife … it’s more prophetic and atemporal, about finding eternity here and now rather than in an imagined future.”

This first single introduces one of the album’s primary themes – salvation. In some sense, it’s the album’s only theme. Where and how is heaven found? Through some kind of spiritual awakening or realization of the ephemerality and impermanence of material life? In mystical union with the beloved? By living in the moment? By freeing oneself from the strictures of ‘straight life’ and going off the grid? By being blind to present reality and living in the glory days of the past? Or maybe there’s only ever momentary salvation, such as experienced when being kissed? What about suicide? All of these questions and more are explored here… but hopefully temporarily resolved when set to music, which “hath charms to soothe the savage beast’ in all of us.

A Filipino-American singer-songwriter, Abong’s music has a raw and unpolished production aesthetic with an overall direct, though deceptively imaginative and oblique, presentation. Abong has also been a practicing Vedic astrologer for the past 20 plus years.

Between the bookends of the new ‘Blindness’ album and ‘Homeless’, the first set of songs as a solo artist, originally self-released in 2018, Abong has released several critically acclaimed records, including his self-recorded 2023 ‘Fear Pageant’ and earlier albums ‘Yellowthroat’**, **‘Pulsing’ and ‘Our Mother of Perpetual Help’.

As of April 9, ‘Heaven’ is available everywhere digitally, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp. On May 9, the full ‘Blindness’ album will be released on CD, along with his ‘Homeless’ album, both of which can be pre-ordered via the label’s Bandcamp.

-Official bio

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