Franz Ferdinand’s Always Ascending - What You Need To Know
14 years on from their bow with the eternally catchy ‘Take Me Out’, Scottish indie stalwarts Franz Ferdinand are back with a brand new album, Always Ascending.
With the album arriving in stores today (February 9th), here is everything you need to know about it...
What’s the background?
Things have changed a great deal for the sharply dressed indie types since their last full-length LP, 2013’s Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.
The years in between have seen the band take some time off, collaborate with Sparks for their FFS project and regroup with a brand new line-up.
After the departure of guitarist Nick McCarthy, the band have recruited not one, but two new members, with former 1990s member Dino Bardot joining on guitar and Julian Corrie (who you’ll probably know better as Miaoux Miaoux) on keyboards, synth and guitar.
For this new record, they've split sessions between at RAK Studios in London and Motorbass Studios in Paris and come up with Always Ascending...
Who’s producing it?
It’s an interesting choice, Philippe Zdar, one half of eccentric French electro pair Cassius, is in the control booth.
Any special guests?
A new expanded line-up, but no special guests outside of that.
What does it sound like?
The introduction of Corrie has made a real impact, with synthesisers and electronics much higher in the band’s mix, but the sharp guitars and the nagging melodies that the group have made their trademark are still very much there.
Zdar’s production is quite minimal, it’s not slick or shiny, but it does give the tracks the same feel as the art rock of Orange Juice and Public Image Ltd that was such a key inspiration for the band initially.
That said, there are still plenty of big choruses and hummable melodies, ‘Lazy Boy’, ‘Feel The Love Go’ and the album’s title track in particular.
Does it deliver?
If you were yearning for the days of supremely polished indie pop, then you’re out of luck. The electronics are pushed to the fore, doing battle with the cheesewire guitars, but the record has an artier, much rawer feel to it. If you give it a chance, it’ll be on your stereos for a long time...