In Three Songs: Franz Ferdinand
Ah, Franz Ferdinand. While everyone around me seems to have a closer connection to them than I do (Mum and brother went to see them live on two seperate occasions, boyfriend made Alex Kapranos laugh in a Glasgow smoking area, etc) no-one will ever truly defeat my heavenly, hardcore adoration of the Glaswegian indie quartet. Slick, catchy, and a true darling of the post-Pulp britpop scene, Franz have proved themselves worthy across four albums and an impressive eleven years of appearing on Jules Holland. Without further ado, indulge me a little more and let’s talk about Glasgow’s finest.
1. You’re The Reason I’m Leaving
An ode to every lover who’s done the spurning, You’re The Reason I’m Leaving rocks up half way through their incredible sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better (the title track, by the way, just missed the cut-off), in a funk of spiky guitar riffs and luscious vocals. I’ve always had a soft spot for the brisk, unshowy way the lyrics display an innate cleverness, peppered with pop culture references and all carried though by lead singer Kapranos’ filthy prep-school vocals. A song that’s going to decide whether you’ll ever get on with them or not, You’re the Reason hooks you in the way bad TV does.
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2. Lucid Dreams
Whether you prefer the album version or the single- and I’ve only picked the single because it’s shorter- Lucid Dreams remains one of their most iconic and brilliant works. Lifted from their third album, the dazed, confusing, and starry-eyed masterpiece Tonight, Lucid Dreams in a centrepiece of intent. A mess of sounds and lyrical influence turn this into a proper odyssey for the ears, cruising through on it’s sense of confidence and casual coolness. You’ll want to go to bed with this song, twice.
I may have a particular soft spot for this song because it was the soundtrack to many a family road trip (the one song we could all agree on, thus avoiding an argument which ended with my brother snapping my Black Parade CD in half and putting on The Stone Roses), Jacqueline remains one of their most audacious numbers. Referencing classic literature as a metaphor for a gambling addiction (maybe, who cares, it sounds cool), it powers through that soft, next-to-silent guitar opening and before you know it your cresting a ridiculous waves of guitar as Kapranos invites you to kill him. The first track of the first album, this was a mission statement, and that statement was “Look what we can do”.
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