Depending on the circles you inhabit, you may have never heard of the music of Fran. Lead by singer songwriter Maria Jacobson, the Chicago group has a rife honesty that falls all over their new album A Private Picture. Essentially indie rock, there’s few moments where the album doesn’t feel like the personal journey we all take throughout its eight tracks.
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The simplicity in the opening track “Now” is understated, while the vocals ring out like a song bird in the early morning. The vocals are so powerful that they may shock you with the strength. In many ways they live on their own with few equals that can carry notes in such a way. This is followed up by “Company,” a song that is more up and paced towards traditional indie rock. The slow and whispered timber of the vocals creep up on you while the music slowly gurgles in its distorted setting. What you may find here is that the track starts to make your head bop. Fran seems to structure music differently than most, making it more endearing and intriguing.
In many ways, this is how the album is curated and crafted. While there are moments that remind you of past indie rock noodles, essentially Fran treads their own path. Where “So Surreal” touches on shoegaze graced indie pop, songs like “In My Own Time” and “(I Don’t Want You to Think) I’ve Moved On” have a more calming approach. The funny thing is that they’re not just slower in tempo, but almost reimagined paths in creating modern music. Fran is definitely doing their own thing here while not steering into a world that’s completely uninhabited. Though their perspective is its own, making the music feel completely new in the process.
A Private Picture is available to purchase on multiple formats directly from Fire Talk Records. The album is also available to stream on all streaming sites or to purchase in all digital outlets. Fran is set to appear at SXSW on March 13 in Austin, TX.
Image Credits: Photo by Reilly Drew.