British electro-synthpop singer-songwriter Frankmusik has been traveling the United States on his first headlining tour. PopBytes was able to catch him during his Brooklyn stop at Union Hall last week. In one of the best music venues in Park Slope, Vincent Frank took the stage with the enthusiasm of twenty pop singers. It was electric. The show was sold out and packed with bodies. It was one of those of those beautiful New York City summer nights where everything felt aligned. It’s warm enough to leave the apartment without a jacket, but cool enough to not have to worry about breaking a sweat during a three block stroll.
Underneath the shelves of books, bocce and mixed drinks held by Park Slopers there was an electropop fest happening downstairs. It amazes me when venues can host two different vibes simultaneously. Webster Hall is the queen of this. But Union Hall does it well. The people sipping drinks upstairs are completely unaware of the booming bass and glitchy synths below. Bright Light Bright Light opened up the show with his brand of electro-disco-pop and the crowd was really feeling it. There seemed to be no better artist to open up for Frankmusik. Both Vincent Frank and Rod Thomas compliment each other well.
When Frankmusik takes the stage the crowd (which consists of very tall gay men and the occasional shorter female) roared. Behind him a red neon light spells out Frankmusik and he has synths, keyboards and a drummer to fill up the rest of the stage. He’s wearing a baseball cap with a straight brim that rests just on top of his head. He’s sporting a tank-top with kittens and cats printed all over it. (A few days later I see the same tank-top at an Urban Outfitters). It’s a good look for him.
Coincidentally Frankmusik’s new album Between (iTunes) is released on the day of the show and the crowd was treated to many of the songs off his self-released, self-produced, self-written third album. Frankmusik took complete reign of his music and career after a falling out with his label (Cherrytree/Island/Interscope) after his second album, 2011’s Do It In the AM didn’t sell very well in the United States. He left Los Angeles and moved back to London and went on to release a four-song EP called Far From Over which laid out the fundamentals he needed to craft his stunning third album Between.
Frankmusik’s set is comprised of mostly songs off his first album Complete Me and Between. The second single off his new record “Chasing Shadows” is a beautiful snyth-ballad. The production on this track is so lush and rich and conveyed very well in a live setting. The first single “Fast As I Can” was another highlight during last Wednesday’s set. Though, it wasn’t the singles that really struck the audience. “Captain” had the crowd captivated. “Map” did the same thing. Frankmusik introduces a new track called “Final Song” and we all feared it was going to be his last song of the night. But boy, were we wrong.
Frankmusik summons Cara Salimando (of Novelette fame), a Brooklyn singer-songwriter to the stage to perform a duet that appears on his new album “How Do We Know?” They have the audience heart-wrenched and quiet. I can’t help but think the song is an indie version of Rihanna and Mikky Ekko’s “Stay.” Or any song off of Damien Rice’s flawless O where Lisa Hannigan shares vocal duty. “Well, I’m done getting fucked and I’m done fucking up,” they sing; it’s a lyric that will stick with you for days.
Not only does Frankmusik perform the dancehall hit “3 Little Words” but he also closes his show with a ballad version of it. Swoon. “Better Off As 2” was a surreal experience. I’ve yearned to hear this song live for years. It brought me back to four years ago. Single and carefree, running through the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan without the weight of the world on my shoulders.
Frankmusik was nothing but humble and gracious for the support from his fans. After every song he was thanking the audience. He even written a thank you song on his new album. The major label pop star from 2011 who lived in Los Angeles has truly found his stride. He even hinted that he was moving to Brooklyn. An independent artist living in Park Slope? That seems to be the appropriate path for Frankmusik’s new venture.
As “3 Little Words” comes to a close the crowd pulls themselves together and parted ways from the electropop phantasmagorical experience they just had on a random Wednesday night in June. Frankmusik was standing by his merch table greeting fans (and yes thanking them again). I mustered up the courage to tell him how long I’ve waited to see him perform and he put his arm around me as we leaned in for a photo.
Do yourself a favor and catch Frankmusik on his #BetweenStates tour. It’s such an intimate show for songs begging for arenas. He’s coming for you west coasters! He’s even getting speeding tickets along the way and blogging and tweeting about it.
Follow him here: https://twitter.com/THEFRANKMUSIK