Jeremiah Fraites (The Lumineers) Talks with Gregory Alan Isakov on the Talkhouse Podcast

“It’s so much work to even make something that’s shitty.”

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got two powerhouses in what I guess you might call modern indie-folk, though it’s a lot more than that: Gregory Alan Isakov and Jeremiah Fraites.

Fraites is, along with Wesley Schultz, a founding member of the Lumineers, the band whose simple-yet-powerful take on folky Americana has been met with pretty massive success over the past couple of decades. The band’s catalog goes deeper than massive hits like “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love,” songs you’ve probably heard even if you’re not super familiar with the band. The Lumineers’ latest album is 2022’s Brightside, but that’s not Fraites’ latest: He just released his second solo album of intriguing, fantastic instrumental piano pieces—a big departure from the sound of his main gig, but great nonetheless. It’s called Piano Piano 2—you can probably guess what the first one was called—and it stretches into even more cinematic territory than the first. Plus, it features a guest vocal from the other half of today’s conversation.

Gregory Alan Isakov may seem like an overnight sensation, but the Colorado-based singer-songwriter has been plugging away—sometimes quietly—for nearly two decades, building a fanbase for his intimate songs over the course of seven albums. His latest, Appaloosa Bones, came out late last year, and as you’ll hear in this chat, the songs ended up being a bit more fleshed out than those on his past records. He’s on tour now, and he’s featured on the new Noah Kahan single as well. So yeah, kind of a big deal. Oh, and as I mentioned a minute ago, he collaborated with Jeremiah Fraites recently, on a cover of Radiohead’s classic “No Surprises.” Check out a bit of the magic they wrung from making the song their own.

In this chat, Fraites and Isakov talk about how songwriting never gets easier—sorry, budding songwriters—about Isakov’s teenage obsession with the Nintendo game Metroid, and what that has to do with music, and about finding intimate sounds in massive places like Red Rocks, aka the best venue in the universe. Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Jeremiah Fraites and Gregory Alan Isakov for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff at This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Photo Credit: left, Rachel Deeb; right, Rebecca Caridad; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)

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