"Every so often, a band comes along that changes your perspective on local indie music. This Is Franco is that band. A sneak preview of This Is Franco's upcoming debut release reveals impending musical excellence. Stuck somewhere between the former Matthew Good Band, Dashboard Confessional and something totally unique, This Is Franco gets to the point with sharp production, solid songwriting and fantastic live performances." The Vancouver Observer
Though having a collective age of only 23, these Vancouver based musicians have been praised by critics and gained legions of new fans opening up and headlining shows with other musical artists such as Sam Bradley, Said the Whale, Jasper Sloan Yip, Whale Tooth, 41st and Home, and Sweatshop Union.
Working with various producers throughout Western Canada has afforded "This is Franco" the opportunity to perform at prominent Vancouver venues and festivals such as the Media Club, the Bourbon, The University of the Fraser Valley and Langara College frosh week.They have appeared as an Artist for Gregor Robertson (the current mayor of Vancouver). Gone to Tofino to play World Peace day 2009. And most recently played on the Edgewater Stage for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
At the beginning of 2009 their song "Forever” was chosen as CBC Radio Almanac's theme song. And shortly after, "This is Franco" headed out on tour in a gigantic yellow school bus to raise awareness for the Kids Help Phone. After this cross Canada tour, they were featured in Canadian Musician Magazine as a showcase artist to watch out for. And in February of 2010 they went into Vancouver's respected ‘Vertical Studios’ to record with Tom Dobrzanski, who's credits include We are the City, Hey Ocean, The Zola's and Said the Whale among others. Shortly after these sessions they toured again playing some of Canada's most coveted rooms from coast to coast: the Phog Lounge in Windsor, The Legendary Red Rooster in Burlington, Cafe Chaos in Montreal, and Dickens Pub in Calgary.
With their new release out in March of 2011, This is Franco are planning dates and media spots to help promote the record for early spring.
Mark Bridgeman - Vocals/Guitar
Alexander Dobson - Guitars/Vocals
Marcus Abramzik - Bass/Vocals
Josh Contant - Drums
...this is Franco EP (2009)
This is Franco Sneak Preview
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Every so often, a band comes along that changes your perspective on local indie music. This Is Franc...Every so often, a band comes along that changes your perspective on local indie music. This Is Franco is that band.
A sneak preview of This Is Franco's upcoming debut release reveals impending musical excellence. Stuck somewhere between the former Matthew Good Band, Dashboard Confessional and something totally unique, This Is Franco gets to the point with sharp production, solid songwriting and fantastic live performances.
Foreman Mark Bridgeman and the band just got back from a "Crosscountry Canada" (remember that computer game?) tour. Let's just say, they made back more than they spent. This is a feat for a band without a record label!
'Shelter' captures and interprets a familiar sense of longing that we all experience, perhaps too frequently. Warm and fuzzy, but serious, the wall of sound has just enough strategically placed chinks to see through. Revel in Language Arts' Kristen Cudmore's Arts and Craftsy, half-spoken solo at 2:50.
'Crowded House' is an instant Power Folk classic. Get a load of the gliding piano track and 'Why Don't We Do It In The Road?' outro.
'If We Try' is a lyrically driving, pumping number that is guaranteed to make you dance. Producer Tom Dobranski's style shines through here.
'Take It Easy' teaches that you have the right to "Take it easy on yourself; you can't stop the world from changing you, no matter what you do." Nihilistic? No. Existentially prodding? Yes.
'Stuck Between' alludes to a bunch of wildboys, and maybe their gals, just having fun.
This Is Franco's self-titled album is a must-hear release, scheduled for Fall 2010. When your buddies keep asking what that glorious music coming from your stereo is, simply reply, "This is Franco."
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You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. As cliché as that sounds, there’s more tha...You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. As cliché as that sounds, there’s more than a grain of truth to it. When you regularly listen to a lot of bands you begin to look for that immediate connection that makes you want to hear everything they’ve got. Twenty seconds into “Forever,” Vancouver’s Franco had my undivided attention.
The foursome of Mark Bridgeman (guitar/lead vocals), Marcus Abramzik (bass/vocals), Andrew Rasmussen (piano/vocals), and Josh Contant (drums) has the kind of polished pop sound that just screams radio – and radio is listening. The aforementioned track, which has a very Crowded House feel to it (Bridgeman sounds like a cross between Crowded House’s Neil Finn and Keane’s Tom Chaplin), has been chosen for the intro to CBC Radio’s Almanac. And earlier this year, Franco was chosen as the featured band of the month on Victoria’s 91.3 the Zone FM.
They’ve been together little more than a year and their average age is just 22, but Franco sounds like they’ve been perfecting their sophisticated brand of melodic music for years, which draws on a host of influences ranging from John Mayer, Something Corporate, and Death Cab for Cutie to Coldplay and Keane.
You gotta like this band, and not just for the music – they’ve got big hearts as well. They recently embarked on a summer tour in support of their This is Franco album, which they are also using to champion the Kids Help Phone. They’re donating 15 per cent of the sales from that record to that charity. Expect good things for this band.
Shelter EP Review
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It is pretty hard to try and write a review on an EP when only two songs have been released, however...It is pretty hard to try and write a review on an EP when only two songs have been released, however things for This is Franco look bright. After only two years together, and this being their third CD, they have the maturity of sound that suggests they’re a much more experienced band. This indie outfit has beautiful little melodies and will give you that feel-good warmth, although their soft-core pop sound might not be for every listener. Their EP has all the sonic evidence of being well produced, with their two track offerings “Shelter,” and “Stuck Between.”
The first of these songs starts up with has a gorgeous indie guitar riff, bringing to mind the sprawling quietness of early Coldplay, but with vocalist Mark Bridgeman drawing you in more dreamily than Chris Martin. Featuring the vocal talents of Kirsten Cudmore of Language Arts, her stunning, velvet voice is reminiscent of the style of California-based hip-hop group, Subtle.
“Stuck between,” the other track released on the EP, is a cheery little number. However that is about all you could say about it, as it doesn’t really have a hook to get your attention and it almost seems like a filler. They just lack the passion with this song. Let’s hope that the next few tracks released will be improvements or the band’s following will be greatly disappointed.
Big Wheels are Turning For Charity
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Big wheels are turning for charity thanks to one Vancouver based band. FRANCO will be rolling into...
Big wheels are turning for charity thanks to one Vancouver based band. FRANCO will be rolling into Revelstoke on a yellow school bus for the Kids Help Phone.
“We were trying to think of a cool way to release our album (and) promote it,” said Mark Bridgeman, FRANCO guitar and vocals. “We've all done smaller tours where we've been stuck in a van, eating crappy fast food for weeks at a time. This seemed like a way out of this rut.”
Fifteen per cent of the “this is FRANCO” album sales will go towards Kids Help Phone. The agency is a toll-free, 24-hour phone counselling, referral and Internet service for children and youth.
“Their calls are anonymous (and) they choose when they phone,” added Bridgeman.
FRANCO is made up of Bridgeman, Josh Contant on drums, Marcus Abramzik on bass and Andrew Rasmussen on piano. Their music is described as pop / indie rock and the group have been playing together for a year. But what’s with the name?
“There was an unknown artist, who had a painting in a house we rented - her last name was FRANCO,” explained Bridgeman. “(I)t was a very, very good painting. And the particular way the name was written got our imaginations stimulated enough to imagine it in all sorts of contexts. i.e. it was a name that would not limit our ambition - it worked well in a club context, in a folk context, etc.”
The big yellow bus doesn’t have a name yet, but “suggestions are welcome,” added Bridgeman.
Besides taking the bus, FRANCO is bringing along bicycles on the western tour. Originally, the four band members were going to cycle a total of 3,300 km during the expedition from Vancouver to Winnipeg starting July.
“We've had to be a bit more flexible to get the gigs we need to keep going and so we'll be driving the bus anywhere we have to and riding anywhere time permits.”
This will be the first time FRANCO has played in Revelstoke. One concert is slated on July 5 during Timber Days. The group is looking for a venue for a second show on July 6 although the lack of a stage won’t stop them from performing.
“We are touring with a P.A. (public address system) and may attempt a public gig – a la busking on any street corner we can find,” said Bridgeman.
They’re also hoping to see you out in Revelstoke at their shows.
“Dance, drink and be merry,” said Bridgeman. “It’s summer, people!”
To hear samples from the new album, “this is FRANCO”, go to: HYPERLINK "http://www.sonicbids.com/thisisFRANCO" www.sonicbids.com/thisisFRANCO
For more information about the tour, go to: www.thisisFRANCO.ca
- By Lea Story
FRANCO tours for Kids Help Phone
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By Holly Miyasaki It’s not only fans who benefit from FRANCO’s upcoming tour. The Vancouver-ba...By Holly Miyasaki
It’s not only fans who benefit from FRANCO’s upcoming tour.
The Vancouver-based group of indie rockers will be helping raise awareness of Kids Help Phone with their tour commencing July 1 in Kelowna.
“The program grants agency to youth who have been otherwise marginalized,” explains Mark Bridgeman, FRANCO songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. “It is not a charitable organization that imposes its will on others —but allows people they are helping to choose their level of interaction.”
FRANCO is also donating 15 per cent of sales of its new CD, this is FRANCO.
The band consists of Bridgeman, Andrew Rasmussen on piano, Marcus Abramzik on bass and Josh Contant on drums.
A new band, getting its start through practice sessions in 2008, FRANCO has launched itself onto the music scene opening for acts like 54-40, Econoline Crush, Sweatshop Union. this is FRANCO is their first album using the entire group’s talent.
“We’re pretty contented as is, and if we could somehow fanagle our way into making a living out of music it would be a dream come true,” says Bridgeman.
FRANCO performs live at 4:30 p.m. at Tugboat Beach on Canada Day as part of the city’s Canada Day celebrations.
They will also be performing at The Streaming Cafe at 8 p.m. on Friday — which will be streamed to https://streamingcafe.net.
Two Cents: How To Drink Anyone Under The Table
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Canadian indie rock band Franco gives 12:51 a few tips on alcohol consumption. 1) Become Irish, A...Canadian indie rock band Franco gives 12:51 a few tips on alcohol consumption.
1) Become Irish, Australian, or Welsh
“We hate to propagate stereotypes but the few times Franco have met these folks out on tour, we’ve noticed a trend of sorts…if your Irish/Australian/Welsh, you can drink!”
2) Drink Beer
“If you’re drinking this wheattastic beverage, you can go much longer than if you head straight for the whisky. Start off with whisky by all means, but at some point in the night slow it down to some good, heavy brew.”
3) Drink with Franco
“We are cheap, cheap, drunks. You will have no problem defeating us. If you want to play a good game, ask us about flip cup.”
There are no upcoming dates at this time.