“Passages is a wonderful album that quickly got under my skin.” – Music That Needs Attention

AMSTERDAM (January 27, 2022) – Francis Alban Blake’s album, Passages, isn’t just a music release. It’s a conjuring, a beckoning, a journey to what was lost. It’s the hope of King Forward Record’s Frank Bond that the album release on April 15 will return Francis Alban Blake from where he came.

After the disappearance of the fictional character, Frans de Blaak in 2018, Frank Bond (Alasca) was permitted by Blake’s family to finish the album he had been working on (published under his pseudonym Francis Alban Blake). The album is accompanied by a ritual of dances, spices, ringing of bells, and the drinking of tea and wine (contained in a ritual chest) with which Francis Alban Blake can be summoned.  Of course, the music can be enjoyed without the rituals, but the idea is that all of the elements together form a passage to a different experience of music and a passage into the “realm” of Francis Alban Blake.

A quirky exquisiteness infuses the songs into a distinctly Francis Blake sound. Each element is created to return Blake to where he belongs. There’s the capturing of the mythical moods and vibes of rural Waterland, the Netherlands. There are the writings of Nietzsche, Alain Fournier, and Bernard Stiegler, whose ghostly holograms spellbind their way into the album. There’s the magical and yet, irreparable out-of-tune pump organ from 1863, which Bond used to create an orchestra with an autoharp (zither), a mellotron, and a Dan Bau. There’s a brokenness to the songs, like fragments of stained glass shattering into a prism of sound. To quote Francis Alban Blake, “When you feel broken, why wouldn’t you also sound broken?

Passages Track Listing

  1. Storm Behind a Window
  2. Blisters
  3. Bread Games Giants Slaves
  4. Wonderful Life 
  5. Sunshine Stay 
  6. On Darkness
  7. More is not the Answer
  8. Maybe I’ve Been Lying 
  9. Here in the Mountains the Visions Will Come 

About Frank Bond

Frank Bond has an MA in English literature with a method of analysis for poetic song lyrics. Bond is also in the band Alasca, whose debut album, Actors & Liars, hit #9 in the Dutch charts upon release and gradually got picked up by BBC2 and BB6. It was followed by extensive tours in Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. Between 2012 and 2019, they did four tours in the UK, where the album was released by the label IRL (now Beautiful World Agency). Bond also runs the independent music label King Forward Records he started with Alasca in 2011. He’s also an active engineer and producer, and project manager for the overarching Pop Organization NH Pop that supports upcoming talent in the Noord-Holland province.  Alasca are back in the studio for their fourth album, which will be called The Disturbing Disappearance of Francis Blake

Praise For Francis Alban Blake

“The mysterious On Darkness with its whispering vocals and fierce outro is a highlight on the record that leaves a lasting impression.” – Written in Music

“[this is] Obscure indie at its best. Passages is not just the songs on the record, it’s a highly actual piece of art that addresses everything our time struggles with. I hope it will rise above its current obscurity.” – PlatoMania

“A thoroughly impressive and endearing indie rock record.” – Find No Enemy

“Francis Alban Blake is the kind of artist that will win you over with his vocals alone.” – It’s All Indie

“a mellow and smooth alternative folk pop surprise I don’t mind listening to again, and again!” – Music for the Misfits

“Incredible songwriting combined with a naturally enchanting soundscape, driven by strings and simple yet refined compositions.” – Frontview