Midweek Muse: Francobollo - Chances - Childcare - You'll Never Get To Heaven - Christine Leakey

Francobollo - Good Times.

Background - Francobollo announce UK tour with The Big Moon plus new single ‘Good Times’ is out now. Following the release of their acclaimed ‘Wonderful’ EP in late 2016, Sweden’s Francobollo return this week with a new single - ‘Good Times’. Possessing an irresistible charm, an undeniable wit - and an infectious personality - these three elements shine through in their schizophrenic, adventurous brand of indie rock.

Once again, esteemed producer Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Marika Hackman, Benjamin Francis Leftwich etc) is at the helm - with Francobollo’s debut album set for release later this year on Andrew's new label Square Leg Records. "Good Times is a serenade to the bad times in life. The feeling you get when you forget how good things can be.” - the band explains. Quintessential alternative rock that's instantly identifiable as Francobollo - with this new single, the quartet are evidently in fine songwriting form. Hinting at inspiration from the likes of Pavement, Built To Spill, and Cap’n Jazz - they’re at their exhilarating best - sounding more energised than ever before.

The band head out on a run of UK/EU dates this Spring, including support slots with the likes of Cymbals Eat Guitars and Johnossi - (and a full UK tour with The Big Moon) with a special headline single release party at The Battersea Barge on March 10th - and if the band’s previous headline shows are anything to go by - will sell out very quickly. ‘Good Times’ is out now via Square Leg Records. Tour details on our tour page, website here, Facebook here.

'Good Times' stands out with distinct vocals and musicians who can mix elements of full on rock, with more refined and understated interludes. The above noted charm and wit, does somehow slowly become apparent, particularly as the song seemingly falls apart and grinds to a halt, before relaunching, and it's done so well.


Chances - Shine.

Background - This week Chances released their debut single “Shine”.

The song is a mix of pop, electro, and a touch of world music, with Ojibwe lyrics over an Indian Raga in the choruses. 

There's a ceremonial energy to the vocals, almost prayer-like in the way they weave in and out of each other and in the harmonic intervals, layered overtop a more pop/upbeat arrangement that we feel captures the essence of Chances.

Chances came together in Montreal in 2016 to sketch out a few songs, just to see where uninhibited brainstorming might lead us. New rules brought new possibilities. One person’s writer’s block became another’s building block. Dead ends became playgrounds. Website here, Facebook here, Bandcamp here.

Mixing electro pop with more than a hint of global and traditional flavours gives the song 'Shine' an impressive amount of originality. More importantly the overall feel is both cohesive and flowing, and perhaps most importantly superb to listen to.


Childcare - Kiss?

Background - Childcare finished 2016 playing their biggest shows to date – in front of thousands as part of Bastille’s nationwide arena tour. This came hot on the heels of the band releasing killer single ‘Film Club’ to comprehensive acclaim. ‘Film Club’ was the first taster of a new EP that also features the stellar ‘Kiss?’ and represents an emphatic statement sure to cement the adoration of all those newly turned on to the London quartet courtesy of that tour.

It all started when Ed Cares, one of west London's most in-demand male nannies, was overheard humming a song he had written, by Katie, aged six, who persuaded him to form a band. Josh, eight, boldly proclaimed: "You're probably my second favourite artist after Katy Perry."  And so, after sourcing some neighbourhood musicians capable of living up to Josh’s heady billing — specifically Emma Topolski (bass), Rich Legate (guitar) and Glyn Daniels (drums) — Ed soon had an able band to perform with under the only logical moniker in the circumstances: Childcare. Having honed their vivid and visceral live show on stages including Reading and Leeds festivals and now some of the land’s major concert venues, Childcare have released two singles to date, 'Omega Grey' and ‘Film Club’, earning extensive national radio play and enthusiastic coverage from key online tastemakers.

“While waiting at the school gates to pick up the child I look after, I went to say hi to a couple of the mums I knew in the playground. I went to kiss one on the cheek just as she leant forward to pick something up from her bag on the ground. This left me hovering mid-air above her for a few seconds, at which point instead of returning to my natural standing position, I decided to draw her attention to my predicament by posing the question: ‘Kiss?’ She rose, we greeted, I blushed." Ed Cares, Childcare frontman (and male nanny). Facebook here.

The vocals and supporting vocal arrangements immediately grabbed my attention. 'Kiss?' builds into something a little more powerful than initially expected, where vocals and music compete for your attention, and Childcare demonstrate they have something pretty special going on here.


You'll Never Get To Heaven - To Be Fair.

Background - This week, Canadian ambient-pop duo You'll Never Get To Heaven have shared the second track "To Be Fair" from their upcoming album. 'Images', their third full-length album is due on March 24th, 2017. 

Alice Hansen, a classically trained pianist and violinist, and Chuck Blazevic, a studio-obsessed tone-sculptor and monome performer, combine their disparate perspectives to co-curate every element of YNGTH together as equals. After gaining a groundswell of support from fans and critics all over the globe for their 2012 self-titled debut and 2014's 'Adorn', the group caught the attention of indie upstart Yellow K Records (Japanese Breakfast, Eskimeaux) on the strength of their breakout single "Caught In a Time, So Far Away". 

The band has partnered with Yellow K for the release of 'Images' in a break from their otherwise staunchly independent ethos. While YNGTH has been reclusive in the past playing only a handful of select festival dates, they are currently planning their first European and North American appearances in support of 'Images' for Spring/Summer 2017. 'Images' will be issued worldwide on Vinyl/Digital via Yellow K and on limited-edition cassette via the band's own Mystic Roses imprint. Website here, Facebook here.

It's less than a month since we first covered this fine duo and the first taste of their new album 'Images'. Last time round we described the track as "a wispy melodic song where the vocals gently float above a rich soundtrack". I think it reasonable with the latest song 'To Be Fair' to make a similar observation. You'll Never Get To Heaven, clearly have the knack for creating ambient, layered and flowing music that really appeals and delights.


Christine Leakey - Walks Like An Angel (feat. Linda Perhacs).

Background from Christine - The video for Walks Like An Angel was shot mostly underwater in the heart of the 1000 Islands where I grew up. I used simple techniques starting with the use of a GoPro on a selfie stick for the scenes of me sitting in the weeds, and the rest of the video was shot with the help of a friend. The scenery of Linda Perhacs was done in Agoura Canyon by one of her friends for me.

The currents were strong during several takes on one side of the island which made it a little difficult and so we moved to the opposite side which I feel made something that fits with the music well. By the end of the shoot, I was freezing. My lips were blue and I was shaking in the shots of me singing in the water. It was the first day of autumn.

The song was inspired by a friend who lost both his parents within a year apart and features Linda Perhacs on vocals. My second solo record entitled, Wanderlust Wishing Well is due out March 3rd. Website here, Facebook here, pre-order the album on Bandcamp here.

This is our third feature for Christine Leakey (our first was a year ago this month) and once again it's an absolute pleasure to have some new music to share. 'Walks Like An Angel' from next months album release 'Wanderlust Wishing Well', is a lush, gentle and melodic piece, drenched (video pun intended) in beauty and imagination. The video is another creative piece in it's own right, with Christine demonstrating just how much she will invest in her art. The album is a must listen as far as I am concerned.