French 75
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French 75

Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Dallas, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo EDM Pop

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"New music from French 75 and more"

“Pay attention,” Jencey Keeton whispers at the top of French 75’s debut EP, Echoes.

It’s an arresting — and appropriate — way to begin a new project: French 75 finds the Dallas-based Keeton, previously aligned with Ryan Hamilton in Smile Smile, now collaborating with her husband, Cole Keeton, on five tracks that create and sustain a very specific down-tempo mood (what the pair describes as an “electro-pop concept”).

The gauzy songs, recorded by the Keetons and mixed/mastered by Tom Polce (who drummed and mixed Smile Smile’s swan song Marry a Stranger), evoke, oddly enough, fellow North Texans Fight Bite (which counts Ejecta member Leanne Macomber among its ranks) — this is music, like the langourous Get Out Tonight or the aching Blue Skies, to become lost inside of. Evaporating like a dream at its conclusion, Echoes nevertheless leaves a strong impression, making French 75 a delicious addition to the ranks of promising North Texas bands. - DFW.com


"FRENCH 75 – ECHOES EP // DEBUT"

For a few years now Dallas has served and an incubator for this husband-wife duo, but this evening the cocoon opens. Tonight at ArtCon WRECKED, Jencey and Cole Keeton have put together something special for us as a sort of ‘cherry-on-top’ of what is always an exciting and inspiring event in the local underground art/music scene. French 75 will be announcing their debut album release “ECHOES” as well as performing their first ever live show. Jencey and Cole bring together vocals that are akin to Malin Dahlström of Niki & the Dove, with the performance and production style can be compared to that of our beloved Phantogram. Backed by bassist/guitarist Emsy Robinson Jr. and Dillon Bartel, aka DJ Mouth Mold, while surrounded by an extensive lightscape provided by Duck Lights, this is sure to result in performance art that will grab you by the collar and make you pay a dollar. - Music is Our Weapon


"Dallas singer-songwriter takes genre leap with electro band French 75"

Two years ago, Jencey Hirunrusme was on the road, touring as half of Dallas’ indie-pop duo Smile Smile with her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Hamilton. Today, her name’s Jencey Keeton and she’s recording a totally new style of music — electronic — under the band name French 75 with her husband, Cole Keeton.

Relationships seem to be the glue to Jencey’s music. Her former band Smile Smile dissolved five months after she married Cole. The newlyweds didn’t hesitate, releasing a music video for French 75 for debut single “Pay Attention” in June 2013. The new couple released their first EP, Echoes, last Friday, with a remix edition due out soon.

Jencey says their band is “little but packs a big punch” — much like the gin-and-Champagne cocktail the band is named after.

Departing from the bitterly sweet singer-songwriter style of Smile Smile, French 75 has a sexy electronic sound built on heavy bass and cool, pulsing drums. Jencey attributes the giant leap in genre to her and Cole’s love for electronic music and a happenstance meeting with another electro artist, Moby.

They met him when Jencey was still touring with Smile Smile. “He talked about his process, the evolution of electronic music, and how he felt about music in general,” Jencey said. “I feel like he was put in my path to give me new light on music.”

The ambitious couple quickly set out to write and record Echoes, with Jencey focusing on the lyrics and vocals, local musician Emsy Robinson Jr. on bass and Cole on the melodies and instrumentation. But none of them knew how to produce the album.

“… So Jencey downloaded a manual and we taught ourselves,” Cole said. “We converted our basement into a studio and produced it from there.”

Los Angeles producer Tom Polce (Bob Dylan and Jerry Lee Lewis) ironed out the kinks, and the finished five-track product is a haunting and magnetic spin on today’s indie-electro scene.

The couple played their first show at an Art Conspiracy show on Saturday. The EP is available now on their website or on iTunes. - Dallas Morning News


"French 75 set to release ‘Echoes’"

Plano native Jencey Keeton is back in the local music scene, a year after the dissolution of the critically acclaimed folk-pop band Smile Smile.

Her new electropop outfit, French 75, is releasing its debut album, “Echoes,” Saturday. As the creative force behind the new group, Jencey said she is finally able to fully express herself musically.

“When you are in a band, you always have to compromise with someone else,” she said. “It was nice to think about what I wanted to write and then write it. You don’t have to second-guess someone else or fight about words. This is 100 percent who I am as an artist.”

French 75 maintains the signature sound of Smile Smile, where Jencey served as the co-songwriter with Ryan Hamilton.

“It is kind of interesting,” she said. “If you listen to Ryan’s solo stuff, and you listen to my solo stuff, it is really like Smile Smile has been taken apart. It is so strange to hear the parts separately.”

The album took about a year to complete, with Jencey composing the songs on guitar rather than piano – a first for her as a songwriter. Jencey’s husband, Cole, added drum parts and the album was mixed and mastered by Tom Polce, who has worked with a wide range of artists including Bob Dylan and Jerry Lee Lewis.

At the album release party Saturday at Life in Deep Ellum, French 75 will be joined onstage by Mouth Mold, a local DJ who has produced remixes of each of the French 75 songs. An album of the remixes will also be available for purchase.

“It is going to be really amazing,” Jencey said. “We feel that nobody in Dallas has ever done a show like this. We will play through our originals and then go into the remixes.”

The album release party is being held in conjunction with Wrecked, a fundraiser put on by the Art Conspiracy. Jencey is the director of marketing for the Art Conspiracy, which raises money for local nonprofits. The 2013 beneficiary was Plano-based My Possibilities, which received $45,000 for use in its art programs for special needs adults.

In addition to French 75, Ronnie Heart and Dark Rooms will be performing, and two art auctions featuring more than 40 artists will be held. - Star Local Media


Discography

Echoes EP - Released June 7, 2014
Echoes: Mouth Mold Remixes EP - Released June 7, 2014

Photos

Bio

Reminiscent of bands like Phantogram and The XX, French 75 brings their own spin on EDM with lush landscapes of synth, strings and electronic drums. Comprised of Jencey and Cole Keeton, the band also brings an enthralling live show with fully customized lights programmed by Duck Lights who has created lightscapes for artists like The Used and Jefree Star.

"French 75 has a sexy electronic sound built on heavy bass and cool,  pulsing drums. Jencey attributes the giant leap in genre to her and Cole’s love for electronic music and a happenstance meeting with another electro artist, Moby." - Dallas Morning News, Brenna Rushing

"...this is music, like the langourous Get Out Tonight or the aching Blue Skies, to become lost inside of." - DFW.com, Preston Jones 

French 75 ‘s first EP release Echoes is the culmination of a year’s worth of work, recorded in the Keeton’s basement studio and mixed/mastered by producer Tom Polce in Los Angeles. Polce has also worked on artists like Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ministry. Jencey began concepting the album in 2011 when her previous band was on tour and then sat on the songs for a couple of years. Says Keeton, “I just felt like it wasn’t the right time to pursue these songs which were very different animals from my current band. I also didn’t have the right person to work on them with.” In 2012, Jencey married Cole and found the “right person” to make the songs into reality.

However, French 75 has found their own sound and take on the genre, with songs rooted in singer/songwriter storytelling and classical composition. Jencey wrote all the songs on guitar, a departure from her background as a pianist, and then composed them as fully fleshed out works with multiple layers of synth, strings, ambient sounds and vocals. Cole then brought in electronic drums and percussion. Not wanting to completely lose the organic sense of a full band the group asked guitarist/bassist Emsy Robinson Jr. to contribute as well.

Then came the remixes. Dillon Bartel, aka Mouth Mold, stepped up to the plate providing remixes for each song on the album. From hip hop to trance to house his versions of the songs vary from completely restructured renditions to secondary versions based on the original model. Mouth Mold is always available to join French 75 onstage to play the remixes and the fans better get ready to dance.

A departure from her previous life as a singer/songwriter, Jencey has toured with and opened for a variety acts like Metric, Bowling for Soup, Bob Schneider, Sum 41, Loretta Lynn, Steve Poltz and more. The band has an existing fan base because of that and substantial marketing potential to help promote shows.

Band Members