Formed in 1997, Estonian shoegazers Pia Fraus started slowly after meeting while in high school in Tallinn. Guitarist/vocalist Rein Fuks and guitarist Tonis Kenkmaa formed the band with bassist Reijo Tagapere and drummer Joosep Volk. Cutting their teeth on the sounds of Stereolab and My Bloody Valentine, the group experimented with synthesizers and recruited vocalist Kristel Loide and keyboardist K+ñrt Ojavee. The band settled on the name Pia Fraus in autumn 1998 and began recording in 1999, recording the single "Bl+Ñ." That session was soon followed by the recording of "Moon Like a Pearl," later featured on the Estonian Unsigned compilation on Operation B Records, and on the Clairecords' Atlantic Flowers disc. The group soon began regular recording sessions at Forwards Studios in Tartu, Estonia. 2001 saw the release of their debut disc, Wonder What It's Like, on their own Pia Records label. The album included remixes by Estonian electro bands Njuu, Galaktlan, Snafu, and Lobsand Dorje. Pia Fraus immediately began to perform regularly in Eastern Europe, and their cover of "Condemnation" was featured on the 2001 Depeche Mode tribute disc No Hidden Catch on Kaleid Records. These early releases attracted the attention of California's Clairecords, who released the band's In Solarium CD in 2002. Produced by Njuu's Hendrik Luuk and Galaktlan's Taavi Laatsit, the album showcased the band's atmospheric wall of melodic sounds. Loide married soon after, becoming Kristel Eplik. She amicably left the group and was replaced on vocals by Eve Komp. With Komp on board, the band then released its third studio effort, Nature Heart Software. In 2008, working with Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake as producer, Pia Fraus released After Summer. ~ Stephen CramerPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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