The Frances Desire

Persona

Written by: LF on 30/12/2016 13:47:16

The Frances Desire, hailing from Copenhagen, have been active for some years now but it's not until 2016 that I have learned of their existence. They play a complex style of alternative rock that is very refreshing in a Danish context, reminding this scribe of various math rock bands, but without compromising the songs' catchiness too much. "Persona" is their debut full-length, released through the ever forward-striving Prime Collective.

This is first and foremost an album that I find reveals different sides of itself over time as most songs are busy with many layers and extra details to discover. It's not the easiest of listens even though the inviting melodies certainly help. The whole album has a very mysterious vibe through its odd rhythms, choice of harmonies and generally dark soundscape. Some of the best songs on it have really well-constructed build-ups, not least the memorable opener "New Fast Low" that should pique your interest instantly if you're at all into The Mars Volta, older Biffy Clyro, or even the rhythmicity of the local Dizzy Mizz Lizzy.

"Just A Sound" as well as "Old" then go on to show off different sides of the complexity and especially the latter is a real grower. Just when your ears have gotten used to the lively sound, however, the impressive "Bring It" brings a completely straight approach with a simple beat and a relatively simple melody, that somehow still has an incredibly magnetic pull to it, not least thanks to the vocals that manage to hit just the right mesmerizing balance. This simple approach is taken as well in the equally catchy "The Slip" later on, except with a heavier background, and both of them work very well in the jumble of the busier songs.

Generally, though, we stay in the odder end of the universe that has a culmination of sorts in the titular "Persona" with its slow pace and weird, harmonic jumps. The ending duo of "Innuendo Pt. I" and "Pt. II" ring out the album in grand fashion, lifting up the sound for a more open ending, like we're finally coming up for air from the depths of some weird dream. It has taken a while for me to get a handle on this record because of its unusual style but there's no doubt that it is an excellent debut, even though some songs stand out more than others after a while, and I really hope to hear more from the band in the future.

Download: New Fast Low, Old, Persona, Bring It
For The Fans Of: Dizzy Mizz Lizzy, Biffy Clyro, Deftones, Mew, The Mars Volta
Listen: facebook.com/thefrancesdesire

Release date 08.04.2016
Prime Collective

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