Recommended Tracks: “Mass Appeal”, “Raining in LA”, “Something’s Got Me”
Artists You May Like: Benny Sings, Blossoms, Daft Punk
There are times when it feels like we are progressing as a society and times when it feels like we are regressing. The constant fluctuation is enough to make anyone crazy, as there is no clear way to tell where we are headed. The electro-funk band Franc Moody have captured this in their music lately, from songs that sound old yet new to lyrics that depict epic highs and steep lows. On their sophomore album, Into the Ether, the band does their best to find a balance in the consistently inconsistent while making peace with the spaces in between.
On the whole, Into the Ether is a feel-good record despite its various downhearted tracks. On “I’m in a Funk,” for instance, the groovy beats and buoyant melodies dispel the severity of lines like “I can see our dreams are crumbling / In front of my eyes, but I feel nothing at all.” The same vibe is put forth on “Suspended Animation,” where Franc Moody vent about “making the same mistakes” and being “stuck in suspended animation,” but cast their frustration away with layers of lively percussion. There is also “Raining in LA,” which touches on homesickness. While we hear about the struggle of leaving someone important behind to pursue a dream, we are also treated to funky riffs that turn the track into a dancefloor anthem.
When Franc Moody replace the helpless lyrics of such songs with ones that are in better spirits, the tracks take on an invincible, effervescent quality. The band set out to take down materialistic pursuits and a lack of individual identity on “Mass Appeal,” surrounding themselves in a world of “leopard print and Neoprene.” Together, the descriptive lyrics and bright synth paint a technicolor world of luxury while also manifesting the imperceptible desire to hop on such trends. On “Cherry,” the only desire that comes through is the one to be with someone who completes you, as we hear, “Time doesn’t matter / None of it matters anymore.” That feeling of a greater force taking hold is also addressed on the disco-meets-electro track “Something’s Got Me.” Over such an eclectic sound, we get lyrics like “Something’s got me started / Something’s got me feeling good.” While that “something” cannot be explained, we definitely feed off the encouraging feeling.
While these previous tracks have elements that are consistent with dance and house music, there are other tracks that fully give into that sound. The title track, which is also the opening track, is a tropical daydream with relaxed beats and layered vocals. Its placement on Into the Ether is fitting, as it invites the listener into such an open space, into such ether. We also have the ominous “Here Comes the Drop,” full of flutters and chugging beats that build up the suspense as we wait for the fateful drop. The album comes to a close with “In Transit,” which uses driving drums and animated lines like “Keep movin’ on” and “Never gonna stop” to put a little pep in your step.
All in all, Into the Ether is as extensive and compelling as its name suggests. We are taken on a journey that does not impart any rules or regulations, each track mixing it up when it comes to lyrics and production. Whatever the case, Franc Moody instill distinct feelings and moments from song to song, highlighting the importance of building on a mood or a vibe. They have definitely made peace with the spaces in between such emotions, all while bringing us to a place where we can do the same – whether it is in the ether or somewhere else.
Franc Moody will be playing at The Novo in Los Angeles on November 3 in support of the album. You can snag tickets here.
You can listen to Into the Ether on platforms like Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music.