Ahead of releasing his ‘Fear Pageant’ album – his seventh to date – via Seattle label Disc Drive, alternative folk-leaning indie rock artist Fred Abong presents his latest single and video for ‘My Way’. Though just as impressive, this is quite a different beast than the lead track ‘Father’.

This follows Abong’s 2022 ‘Yellowthroat’ album, recorded with Rob Ahlers (50FOOTWAVE, Kristin Hersh Electric Trio). Here, Abong – a Filipino-American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist – upholds his reputation for creating music that is a blend of “ragged Replacements and lyric-driven Bob Dylan” and “Elliott Smith with balls”.

Currently based in New Orleans, Fred Abong got his musical start in the 1980’s on Rhode Island as a drummer, bassist and guitarist in various hardcore punk bands. He spent the early 1990s playing bass for Throwing Muses and then Belly. He then put music as a profession on hold for academic pursuits, earning a PhD in Humanities and serving as a professor at various universities for eight years before returning to music.

Continuing as a solo artist, Abong’s music has a raw and unpolished production aesthetic with an overall direct, though deceptively imaginative and oblique, presentation. Apart from his work as a solo artist, Fred Abong is also currently bassist in the Kristin Hersh Electric Trio and has also been a practicing Vedic astrologer for the past 20 plus years.

“Unlike the Sinatra song of the same name, this is not a manifesto of self-determination or a reflection on individualism and world-beating fearlessness. It’s also not a send-up of that attitude or sentiment. My ‘My Way’ is, accidentally, closer to the subject matter (but not the sentiment) of the original French version of the Sinatra song. In the French version, of which I only recently became aware, the gradual erosion of marriage and love by the crushing boredom of mundane life is the focus,” says Fred Abong.

“My ‘My Way’ is definitely a kind of self-portrait and a meditation on love and marriage. But it is not triumphant or regretful. It’s more about the mixing of romance and resignation than anything else. It also recognizes the omnipresence of death, both physical and spiritual. And it explores the longing, conscious or unconscious, for wholeness and ‘completion’ present in intimate relationships.”

His songs are existentially and romantically focused, poetic, and slightly off-kilter. Detuned guitars, unconventional song structures, and a raw and unpolished production aesthetic characterize the overall sound. Fred’s hypnotic, sometimes gravelly voice adds to the effect.

‘My Way’ is out now across fine music platforms, including Bandcamp, where the ‘Fear Pageant’ album is now available to order. On July 20, it will be released on vinyl or as a digital download.

Music and lyrics by Fred Abong
All songs recorded, mixed and performed by Fred Abong
All instruments by Fred Abong
Mastered by Fred Thomas
Videos by Fred Abong

1 . Father
2 . Half Wit, 3. Fear Pageant
4 . Hungry Ghost
5 . Bats
6 . America 808
7 . My Way
8 . Shadows
9 . Reservoirs
10 . Sailor