ATO Records will release Fiction Family’s self-titled debut album on January 20. This marks the first full-length effort for the all-star duo consisting of Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Jon Foreman (Switchfoot). The album features 12 original tracks written, arranged and recorded by Watkins and Foreman at their homes in San Diego.
Both artists have achieved immense success with their respective bands. Sean Watkins is the guitar player and founding member of the Grammy award-winning trio Nickel Creek. Watkins has a weekly residency at the Largo in Los Angeles known as “The Watkins Family Hour,” which regularly features guests such as his sister and fellow Nickel Creek bandmate Sara Watkins, as well as Fiona Apple, John C. Reilly, Greg Leisz and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Jon Foreman is the guitarist and lead singer of the Grammy-nominated rock band Switchfoot, which has sold over 5 million records worldwide. Foreman has had considerable success as a solo artist as well. He released two double-EPs in 2007 to critical acclaim with the Philadelphia Daily News applauding his “…brooding, sensitive folk-pop…from the likes of Damien Rice and David Gray.”
The seemingly unlikely duo met a few years ago at a show featuring Wilco, R.E.M., Nickel Creek and Switchfoot. Over time, they began writing songs together, which quickly turned into a full-length album. As both Watkins and Foreman are vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, they often took turns singing lead vocals, and they both played several instruments on each song including guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion, baritone ukulele, piano, organ, mandolin, steel guitar, 12-string guitar and more. Nickel Creek fiddle player Sara Watkins is featured on a few songs as well. Foreman explains, “The album was recorded and written in parts. Because Nickel Creek and Switchfoot are both hard working, touring acts, we were rarely home from tour at the same time. Consequently the tracks were passed back and forth between Sean and I. Whoever was home from tour would chip away at the songs with no real expectations at all, mainly just for ourselves and for the love of the song I suppose. We came up with a few cowboy rules for the project: No double tracking. No pussyfooting. No tuning of vocals. etc… With very few exceptions, every note was written, arranged, played and recorded by Sean and myself.”