Francolin : Won't Let You Down
The debut album from Francolin is reminiscent of the first album from Fanfarlo, another group with a Swede at the helm. That London-based band have gone on to craft a darker, deeper second album, though it’s hard to imagine Melbourne’s Francolin heading down that same dark rabbit hole based on the light, leisurely Won’t Let You Down. This is a band with the dial firmly set on ‘summer’.
Most songs called Let’s Stay Together would put this lyric forward as an emotional plea, but here it’s a measured suggestion. It’s such a relaxed, content delivery, it’s hard to imagine the answer being anything but ‘yes’. While most of the lyrics are bathed in sunshine, there are hints of a bleaker past. The joy of falling in love is celebrated with relief from a sad, lonely life: there’s “no more longing” and a surfacing out of “the same grey days”. Then things seem to fall apart completely by the end of the album, with the not-so-shiny-happy Singinging. But any notes of apprehension are invariably wiped out by waves of lyrics about drinking wine, getting stoned, swapping clothes and listening to Wilco. And the music remains resolutely ‘up’ throughout, with even the song about dying waltzing along to old-school jazz and adorned with trumpets.
The strongest criticism I could make of this album is that it tends to float along on cruise control. But, hey, that’s kind of the whole point of it too.
BY CHRIS GIRDLER
Best Track: War On Summer
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Reservoir FANFARLO, The Flying Cup Club BEIRUT
In A Word: Dependable