Release Day Series Podcast

The Fretless - How the string quartet took collaboration to another level in 2021

December 01, 2021 Alex Huard
Release Day Series Podcast
The Fretless - How the string quartet took collaboration to another level in 2021
Show Notes

On episode 34, Ben Plotnik from the JUNO Award winning string quartet, The Fretless, joins me to talk about their latest, collaborative album “Open House”, released on October 22nd, 2021. "Open House" is a 10 song album and the first project that sees The Fretless feature vocals on all the tracks and in such a prominent role. Working with artists like Celeigh Cardinal,  Nuela Charles, The Bros. Landreth, Dan Mangan and more. 

We talk about the process of interpreting and re-arranging songs from Bruce Cockburn, Steely Dan, Feist, and Alessia Cara - to name a few - for the the fiddle/viola & cello, and what they needed to do in order to clear the songs for publishing on the album.

A supergroup of celebrated solo artists, The Fretless has been creating a singular and signature sound that dares to expand the idea of what a string music quartet can be—transforming fiddle tunes and folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements that have quickly gained a dedicated following and accolades from around the world. Within what appears to be a simple construct — two fiddles, a viola, and a cello — The Fretless has created a sound that is distinctly rich, multi-layered, and uniquely percussive. This tonal quality is pushing traditional music to new heights, producing a completely fresh approach to Folk music.

If you have music you would like us to hear, or have a great release day rollout plan you want the world to know about, send an email with your EPK and release plan to:

Thank you so much for listening, and Welcome to Release Day!

Theme music composed by Evan Denley.

Reference Links:
The Fretless website -
Decolonial Clothing -
No Sleep Til Sudbury Podcast with Brent Jensen:
Release Day Spotify Playlist -
Release Day Website -

"Release Day," an ongoing series where we sit down with Canadian musicians of all genres to discuss their latest releases from singles to albums, and their strategy behind releasing it to the world.