You know you’ve made it big in pop music when you’re getting props from Kanye West.
The Fray did just that, and rather unintentionally, when the Denver-based band’s cover of West’s “Heartless” made a planetwide boom in the blogosphere.
Concurrent with the release of The Fray’s sophomore self-titled album in February, YouTube and mp3 links to its ambient-acoustic version of “Heartless” were dropped throughout major music blogs, including West’s own 808s and Heartbreaks ( www.kanyeuniversecity.com/blog).
“It’s crazy. We didn’t intend it to do what it’s doing,” Fray guitarist/songwriter Joe King told MTV Radio.
“We just did it one time, and then two days later, our manager e-mails and is like, ‘By the way, “Heartless” is all over the Web. It’s on Kanye’s Web site, it’s on hip-hop blogs, everybody’s talking about it.’ ”
Meanwhile, The Fray’s new album was busy winning over the adult contemporary audience, sneaking into promos and bumpers all over network television.
The lead-off single “You Found Me” appeared in a one-minute commercial break during “Grey’s Anatomy,” with scenes from the upcoming season of ABC’s “Lost.”
In addition to having its music in shows such as a “Scrubs,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Good Morning America” and “One Tree Hill,” The Fray also made exclusive deals with Comcast.net’s Music page to debut acoustic versions of chart-toppers “You Found Me” and “Never Say Never,” among other tracks from the new album.
The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, and The Fray has had enormous success with digital sales as well.
Though the Grammy-nominated quartet took its time following up on its multiplatinum debut, “How to Save a Life,” The Fray stayed busy in both the physical and virtual worlds, headlining a national tour and scoring its own iPhone app, complete with the band’s tour schedule, ticket booth and personalized light show.
Released in 2005, “How To Save A Life” gradually went double platinum and received multiple Billboard Awards due to The Fray’s exceptionally high-volume download numbers, which have reached a massive 8 million digital singles sold.
Formed in 2002, the Denver-based quartet is comprised of Isaac Slade (vocals, piano), King (guitar, vocals), Ben Wysocki (drums) and Dave Welsh (guitar).
The Fray has announced that it is already writing songs for album three, and that while it isn’t a drastic left turn, the new material will be more experimental.