Forget Your Head strikes the perfect balance between FRANKIIE’s predilection for rock’s bygone sounds and their decidedly sombre side.
There are times when society needs music to spark change, ignite a fire and burn the old paradigms down. Those are exciting times. But there’s also a time when we need music to be a salve, the balm that heals us for the shitstorm of socio-political, cultural, and environmental chaos that’s raging around us. Sometimes, we just need music to be music — great music — so that we can catch our breaths.
Thank goodness for FRANKIIE, the Vancouver-based four-piece whose blend of 60s-soaked surf rock and super-tight harmonies are the perfect elixir after a week that laid waste to our national fibre. Forget Your Head strikes the perfect balance between the band’s predilection for rock’s bygone sounds and swirling psychedelics and their decidedly darker, sombre lyrical tone. They open “Compare” with singer/guitarist Francesca Carbonneau singing “A heavy weight rests upon our fate,” turning an otherwise bouncy rhythm upside down and inside out with spectral musical touches: a haunted organ line, disembodied tambourine, and pitch-perfect jangle guitar. The song is a biting indictment on social media’s influence (“What we see through a sea of screens, / Tears away what I have to say”) but FRANKIIE’s musical style saves it from sounding heavy-handed. It’s a feat they pull off repeatedly throughout Forget Your Head, from the aptly named “Easy Breezy (Je Sais)” to “Alone Again”’s blend of punky shouts and shimmery steel drum.
Forget Your Head doesn’t demand much emotionally from its listeners. FRANKIIE isn’t trying to incite a riot, break your heart into a million pieces, or put a smile on your face and bounce in your step. Yet their effervescent harmonies and swirly style certainly demand respect and attention; their effortlessly catchy writing and the sly and subtle ways they find to lyrically address the collapse of civilization that’s happening around us offer a breather from the chaos at the same time.