The North East’s finest, Frankie and the Heartstrings are back with their sophomore album, out June 3rd. Not only that, but they’re opening their own record store on June 1st ahead of the release. It’s clear they’re working their socks off, but will difficult second album The Days Run Away provide a big sound for the band’s big plans?
One recognisable track from the album is previous single Everybody Looks Better In The Right Light, produced by Suede’s Bernard Butler. An unusual move to put a 20-month-old single on a new album, but strangely it fits well within the 11 tracks. Sounding a bit Adam Ant with the ‘who knew!’ leading into the chorus, it gives an edge to Frankie and the Heartstring’s inoffensive indie-pop.
Opening number I Still Follow You is definite single material; with an infectiously toe-tapping melody, mood-building harmonies, lyrics drenched in confusion and feeling, and of course obligatory na-na-nas, what more could you ask for from an indie-pop hit?
Latest single Nothing Our Way and Losing A Friend provide some counter-balance to the usual happy-go-lucky sound that weaves its way through the album. The former impressively displays frontman Frankie Francis’ exasperated whining and emotional vocals, but still manages to create an up-tempo, jangly track. The latter slows the tempo and mood right down and strips everything back. Starting with a vocal and a guitar, the tale of heartbreak gradually builds to a crescendo, by adding drums, strings and even a glockenspiel before howling into some out-of-tune violins. A beautifully painful track, proving that sometimes hearts and strings can be dangerous things (sorry, that was awful).
It’s hard to believe a band that’s been on the indie scene for as long as Frankie and the Heartstrings have released only two albums worth of material. But then again, when you think of how jam-packed The Days Run Away is with catchy, infectious hits as well as deeply personal, emotional creations, it’s plain to see this band focus on quality rather than quantity, and that’s something we can all be thankful for. Giving us a second album full of memorable melodies and lyrics, and with literally no fillers, there’s not much to dislike about Frankie and the Heartstrings.