“Incredible songwriting combined with a naturally enchanting soundscape, driven by strings and simple yet refined compositions.” – Music for the Misfits
FOR RELEASE MARCH 24
AMSTERDAM (February 21, 2022) – King Forward Records and Frank Bond announce the Francis Alban Blake single “Blisters” release in the US on March 24. It’s off the album, Passages, due out April 15. Full of intensity and urgency, the song unravels a haunted codex inspired by the life of Leonardo Da Vinci.
Painting a surreal Impressionist landscape, “Blisters” constructs a sonic showcase of meandering Moog synthesizer and off-beat xylophone that dart in between punchy drum syncopation and shimmering acoustic undertones. Bond intentionally kept the strange timing intact to echo the song’s meaning about giving in to primal artistic desires and inner conflict that shifts like the sands of an hourglass. Peeling away conceptual masks and layers, the song progresses through highs and lows along with a bass line that begins in solitary punctuation and grows to become a stanza-filling metronome.
The single demands the listener’s attention while also creating a pleasing alienation told through the mystic lens of yesterday. Bond explains one of the prevalent nuances, “The spooky voices at the beginning of the track were an accident when I had Francis Blake’s tape machines hooked up. One of them started to play back a bit too fast when I re-recorded a close harmony through the tape. I kept it and threw them through my echo chamber.”
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.
Passages Track Listing
- Storm Behind a Window
- Bread Games Giants Slaves
- Wonderful Life
- Sunshine Stay
- On Darkness
- More is not the Answer
- Maybe I’ve Been Lying
- 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 “Blisters”
“Francis Alban Blake’s shimmering and glistening indie rock harmonious piece ‘Blisters’ is a magical piece of power pop that’s a bit modern, a bit retro, and a whole lot quirky.” – Find No Enemy
“a power-pop track that many fans of 70’s power-pop would love” – It’s All Indie