Dia Frampton is out in the middle of a field in “Nowhere, California,” as she puts it, when Rolling Stone meets up with her. The runner-up on the first season of The Voice is filming a video for “The Broken Ones,” the first single from her upcoming solo album, Red.
Featuring catering, effects, a big entourage and a video crew filming behind-the-scenes footage, the scene befits the heavy profile the singer has earned since her turn on The Voice. All of Frampton’s sisters and her old band from her days with Warner Bros. act Meg & Dia are on hand to appear in the clip.
“For me, it’s been really important to keep my family and my friends along with me, because that’s what keeps you grounded,” the singer says. “I’ve always written with my sister [Meg]. She’s got a song on the record that we did together called ‘Hearts Out to Dry,’ which I really love.”
Another songwriting partner who helped on Red is Isom Innis, the touring keyboardist for Foster the People. The two, who go back years, according to Frampton, worked on a song called “Billy the Kid.” Innis brought in Mark Foster to round out the song. “Isom was working on the track with me while they were on tour. And Mark had an idea for a chorus and sent it back, and it was great. It just really meshed,” she says. “I heard that and I said, ‘Mark, this is awesome, this is amazing.'”
Her newfound celebrity also brought several new names to her world, including hit-making producers Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Greg Wells (Adele, Katy Perry) and Neal Avron (Sara Bareilles, Linkin Park). “Since The Voice happened, so many doors have opened up, and there have been so many cool musicians and producers that want to work with me,” says Frampton. “I’ve gotten to work with these producers that I worship, and it’s amazing.”
Another new colleague is Florence + the Machine’s Isabella Summers. “She’s such a mad-scientist writer. I started playing guitar and we kept it simple,” Frampton says of their collaboration, “Bullseye.” “She really allowed me to be what I wanted to be and just go for it.”
Frampton’s Voice coach, country star Blake Shelton, also shows up on the album, singing on the duet “I Will.” Frampton was hesitant to include it. “I was scared to write a duet, because duets always come out a little bit corny to me, to be honest,” she says. “It has its moments where I’m, like, cheeseball-crying when I listen to it, so maybe it does have that corny element still.”
She’s hopeful the song will gain her some immediate acceptance with Shelton’s audience when she goes on the road with him in early 2012. There is some apprehension, she admits. “I’m definitely scared about the tour with Blake, just because it is a country tour,” she says. “I remember back in the Meg & Dia days, we played for some, like, screaming bands, and I’ve had quite a few bottles thrown at me – a mile-long margarita thrown at my head once.”
But she isn’t too concerned about the possibility of projectiles. “I went to one of Blake’s shows, and the country crowd just look like they have a good time,” she says. “They have a couple of beers and they’re dancing, having fun and embracing it. I don’t think they’ll be throwing any bottles at me.”