In 2013, indie juggernauts Franz Ferdinand released what became for many, or at least myself, the album of the year with ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’. They rewrote the rule book on indie pop music and managed to create an album that had wall to wall brilliance as each track stood out as lead single worthy, and between each track they managed to flexibly bend between sounds and genres. So of course, a return would be a news worthy announcement… and that’s exactly what we’re dealing with as THE Glaswegian five piece have returned in impactful fashion, including the announcement of a gigantic 2018 tour, a brand new album and also the unveiling of the lead single, and title track from the new album, ‘Always Ascending’.
Man, they’re not doing anything by halves! Not that they normally do, and what a treat it is to have Franz Ferdinand back. As one of the most entertaining but also most intelligently creative bands that debuted this side of the millennium, it’s going to be incredible to see what their long awaited fifth studio album has to offer. Of course, for a short time however, we have the lead single to potentially open some doors and answer some questions…
Alex Kapranos’ voice is unmistakeable and with those low, David Bowie-esque tones he croons into the introduction of the song, with a minimal piano based backing. It seems to be slow paced and deliberately classy, but with a single note that builds in pitch before being joined by a repetitive synth and we can see that this whole thing is about to “ascend” into chaos. Without mistake, an up tempo dance beat strikes and the track becomes an all out dance classic. I find myself searching online to see if James Murphy has a writing credit as it has LCD Soundsystem written all over it. It’s catchy, it’s fun and it’ll become a dance floor standard in no matter of time. This takes us back to our previous idea, of whether this indicates what the rest of the album could be like. Well I’d suggest that it doesn’t tell us anything. Franz Ferdinand can adapt to most styles and this one is a new one on me. So perhaps it’d be seen as more of an addition to an already eclectic bag of skills. The rest of the record could be the heaviest stuff they’ve ever done, or back to indie basics perhaps. Unfortunately we have to wait until February 2018 to find out the real answer, but when February rolls around, I for one won’t hesitate for a second before picking up this record. Franz Ferdinand have never failed before, and judging by this, they’re not about to start.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)