Like ripe red apples giving off that fresh scent, Be Frank, Furness , the follow-up to the unique The Hale & Hearty by Heyward Howkins is tempting and ravishing. Nogales, the first track, has this pop appeal that searches for that inner child in you to get up and dance. His lyrics are quirky, deep and you have to have a sense of Americana to get into his themes. But it is the music that breaks down any barrier between listeners and this artist. It is a captivating pop/rock sound tinged with the sounds of the 60s, brit pop and folk.
His voice has also attained a new level of confidence. His voice smiles in every track. He is like the jolly philosopher discussing the woes of the human condition in a jostling but playful way. Cut & Coral reminds me a bit of Pulp with its sophisticated crooning vocals. Heyward is not new to magnifying the intensity of laid back arrangements. In Rare Earths his approach to simple percussion lines and odd time signature changes really work. It draws listener to the theme of the song while at the same time, the brief silence or nuance between lines gives you a sense of reflection. Praline Country is another unmistakable radio friendly track. I praise the vocal harmonies because they give the tune this Beach Boys vibe. The title track has that swagger that is infectious. Lorraine takes me back to the best pop tunes of the late 60s. There is something about the chords that he use in his songs. They give off that bright vibe. Wait to that smile-inducing horn part and you will love this song!
Pundit displays that sheer Americana style. You can’t miss that sparkling harmonica. His verses are wonderful. That guitar part calls to mind 80s New Wave music. The drums are fantastic! Yes I am smiling while writing this review. Brite Kites is another tune that makes use of spare arrangement. Anyone who loves dream pop or shoe-gazer tunes will definitely appreciate what he does. This fact is further enhanced with Sweet Tea Oleander. Flimsy Stock closes the album with its notable simplicity.
Everything about Be Frank, Furness reminds me why it is great to be a music blogger. There are fresh tunes that are going to become timeless. Heyward Howkins is an international treasure as he continues to serenade this planet with beauty and grace.
Buy Be Frank, Furness on vinyl here: http://heywardhowkins.bandcamp.com/album/be-frank-furness