Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jukebox: Frankie & The Heartstrings - "I Still Follow You"

Frankie & The Heartstrings have been busy in the year and a half since the release of debut LP Hunger. As well as dropping a satisfying non-album single in "Everybody Looks Better In The Right Light," the Sunderland-based quintet have also been hard at work reinvigorating the North East's music scene with their Pop Sex Ltd label, providing an enthusiastic base from which fledgling acts such as The Neat and Ajimal have shot to similar levels of excellence. Thankfully, all this extracurricular activity has done nothing to quell commitment to the day job, as evidenced by the fact they've spent much of recent months locked away in a recording studio with former Suede man Bernard Butler. Indeed the first taste from those sessions, "I Still Follow You" suggests the group are going from strength to strength; refining past formulas whilst also adding a fresh dimension to their gloriously vigorous indie pop sound.

Perhaps the most obvious change is the shift in emphasis from sharp and direct instrumental hooks to a noticeably more vocal-centric approach. Sure, Mick Ross and Michael McKnight still weigh in with a delightful dose of jangly Marr-esque guitar licks, but here the spotlight is very much on Frankie Francis, whose fabulous layered performance is topped off by the band's first true knockout chorus. Perfectly complimented by Butler's glossy production, it's a cut that's sure to see expectations soar ahead next year's sophomore - and having heard some of the new material live I can confirm there's far more where it came from!

"I Still Follow You" can be streamed and downloaded for free from Frankie & The Heartstrings' official website.


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