In a week that saw the excellent first album of The Hannah Barberas, an incredibly captivating collection of the Indonesian duo The Sensitive, and a few scattered surprises, my absolute earworm has been ‘Hide Your Eyes’, the new single taken from the debut EP, entitled ‘What If We Were Wrong’, of Los Angeles-based band The Francine Odysseys.
Born out in 2017 from the hook up of L.A. transplant, a stalwart of the indie-pop scene in the acclaimed Michigan band The Icicles since the early 2000s, Gretchen DeVault with guitarist Ian Patrick (History of Manners).
Last year the duo expanded itself with the addition of fellow musicians Mike Butkovic and John Miller to record their first single ‘Round & Round’, here included again in a remixed version.
The band’s dream-pop, shoegaze and jangle influences from the late 80s and the early 90s with some folksy leanings, coexist in a harmoniously balanced, equally fresh, heartfelt and dynamic way.
‘Hide Your Eyes’ is a heady distillation of jangle-pop effervescence suffused by a subtle breeze of layered shoegaze, apparently wholly captivating, flowing and graceful on the surface, whilst perturbed by strains of hopelessness and disenchantment underneath.
Driven by peppy drums along sinuously undulating bassline, fizzing strums and crystalline jangly guitar melodies awash by icicle-bright humming synths, to build an irresistible rich floating sonic carpet, replete with sticky hooks and wistful harmonies, whilst sad, hopefulness, clear female vocals soar anxiously around a catching dual chorus, overcome by a deep male whisper, wherein rhetorical dreams quickly fade away, broken by a betrayal who reveals itself in glaring disconnection.