Indie Rock
Frances is a coed septet from New York City. Both their recent Celebration Station EP and debut full-length, All the While, carry on the great tradition of pop music that plays with itself, taking the fun parts and discarding the dumb ones, flirting with chaos but always returning to a gloriously catchy, melodic center. It's resolutely childlike, fanciful stuff (toy instruments abound, as do sing-sung lyrics about stagecoaches and telephones made of paper cups and string); but then, Frances are correspondingly serious in their execution, employing whiplash-inducing chord changes, bizarre stylistic touchstones (Van Dyke Parks' pop oddities, classic AM-radio rock, a little Stravinsky, a little Sondheim), and darker moments that hint at something terrifying lurking behind the swooning strings and oom-pah horns. Frances is Stephanie Skaff (vocals, sundries), Brian Betancourt (guitar, sundries), Matt Meade (guitar), Nick Anderson (bass), Julia Tepper (vocals, violin, sundries), Tlacael Esparza (drums), and Paul Hogan (vocals, keyboards).