Record of the Week
We take you inside our favourite new albums with the artists who made them. This week's feature record is the shimmering debut album from London funk collective Franc Moody
There is an effervescent joy and pure euphoria lathered over Franc Moody ‘s debut album Dream In Colour.
If you haven’t heard of the London funk and soul collective, this record is the perfect summary of everything that makes them brilliant. Born from a concoction of old soul beats and warehouse funk, of nu-disco and escapist pop, the album is a perfect treasure of dance breaks and soaring melodies – try to sit still and feel sad for even a second of its 40-minute run time, we dare you.
As a band who came up via the tight-knit warehouse rave scene of London, their performances are all about community and chaos, and thanks to these free-flowing shows, Franc Moody have well and truly earned themselves a dedicated, cult-like following back home and across the US. This feeling, of letting loose together, is one of the many themes you’ll find running throughout Dream In Colour.
At the heart of Franc Moody are its two founders and chief collaborators – Ned Franc and Jon Moody. While Jon was born into a family of classical musicians (who you can hear on the strings throughout Dream In Colour), Ned was musically educated by the stereo in his parents’ car, from old soul to rock’n’roll. The pair met as part of a group of musicians who took over an abandoned warehouse in Tottenham: first throwing infamous raucous parties, then cutting their teeth as a live outfit.
In the studio, it is Ned and Franc working together – alongside any and all objects they can find. From salt shakers to hot sauce bottles to Febreeze cans, if it makes a sound, you bet it’s in Franc Moody’s percussion section.
It is this background alongside the collective’s DIY-approach to creating music that inspires the raw-party-feel meets slick-groove-based-production that you’ll hear across Dream In Colour.
From smooth beats to glittering warping synths, earwormy synths to catchy hooks – strap on your space suit, dive into Dream In Colour, and be transported somewhere else entirely.
We’ve picked it as our feature record, but Dream In Colour is Franc Moody’s dance-party, so we sat down with the duo to hear all about it.
Photo Credit – Emma Dudlyke
The Franc Moody Story
From the beginning
Franc Moody: “We first started making music together in a warehouse space we helped build in Tottenham. We built this craggy, analogue studio which permanently suffered from damp. It was the perfect place to play music and host all-nighters.
“In the studio, it’s just us two (Jon and Ned) where we write and record the tunes. But on the road, we’re blessed to have our good friends join us swelling the Franc Moody numbers from two to six. The change from the studio format to the live experience is huge. The band members bring their own characters, feel and energy to the package in a big way.”
What you’ll hear
FM: “Our sound is kind of craggy – a DIY, bass-heavy dollop of funk. The sound ultimately comes from the lo-fi nature and natural restrictions of our small recording cupboard in North-West London. We’ll create tunes and rhythms from anything. Hot Sauce bottles, Febreeze cans, radiators, anything we can get our hands on basically.”
Inside the creative process
FM: “The meat of the record is an amalgamation of the best bits the two of us have conjured up in the studio over the last 12-18 months, although there are definitely a few bits to mention.
“Marieke features on ‘A Little Something For The Weekend’ bringing that dose of French magic to the record. We had the lyric concept kinda figured out, and then she brought that real class to the delivery and added her flavours in the chorus. The whole band was involved with recording ‘Night Flight Reprise’. And across the album there are loads of moments; Dan’s (our drummer) hi-hats, Lukey’s slide guitar parts, Amber’s vocals, and Jon’s mum and sister play strings on loads of tunes.
“The creative process hasn’t necessarily changed [since our first EP – Dance Moves] at all really. I think the sound has simply evolved naturally and got a little bit more refined.”
Tell us the story
FM: “The overarching theme for the record is definitely one of release and escapism. Essentially, ‘dreaming in colour’ and ‘letting go’. We also wanted to examine that sometimes difficult relationship (that is very much a modern phenomenon) between technology and real life. We want the record to connect with people in different ways, from shuffling onto the nearest dance floor to a personal connection when listening by yourself.”
Down memory lane
FM: “Having us all record ‘Night Flight Reprise’ at St Peter’s Church, Southease (next to Ned’s mum’s place) was pretty special. To be honest, the album is littered with so many great little memories and breakthrough moments.”
Overcoming struggle town
FM: “Of course, there were times when the classy tunes weren’t forthcoming. Making an album we were going to be truly proud of was definitely no easy feat, but with a bit of perseverance, we made it in the end.”
Take it to the stage
FM: “A Franc Moody show is a sweaty, raucous affair. Expect keytar solos, oboe interludes, peculiar dance moves, and general chaos.”
For the love of music
FM: “Making music is definitely what makes us tick. Taking a song we’ve written in the confines of our studio to a live audience is one of the best, most rewarding things possible.”
FM: “I hope there’s a little slice of something for everyone. It definitely showcases the full Franc Moody sound to date. Really hope people dig it.”
Say it in a sentence
FM: “Dream In Colour is…our own lil cragged-out, DIY, funk-filled, intergalactic selection of Franc Moody nuggets.”
Essential Franc Moody Listening
Franc Moody – Skin on Skin
“This one is our lil nod to the soul tunes of old. We’d been sitting on the lyrics for years, and once the chord structure was in place the tune slipped out pretty quickly.”
Franc Moody – Flesh & Blood
“We’d written this tune way way back, but it’d been gathering dust in the Franc Moody tune vault for ages. We just needed a space for it. We love this tune. Our first proper venture as Franc Moody into a slower realm.”
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