Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Album Review: Cartwheels (2014)

Frenchy and the Punk. We can't get enough of this bohemian-folk-punk-cabaret duo. Their latest EP, Cartwheels, was released February 18th of this year. It features five songs that weave the musical magic we've been so accustomed to with Frenchy and the Punk - including two new songs, "Mulina Mulina" and "Halloween for Christmas." Again, for those who aren't familiar with Frenchy and the Punk, I suggest you check out some of their other works, including their 2012 album, Hey Hey Cabaret (review here).

And now for some news from the duo that everyone should be aware of...

Frenchy and the Punk have been working tirelessly in the studio to bring you a new album which is projected to be released this summer. Also, this summer, they will be touring with The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing (UK) and The Nathaniel Johnstone Band (US) on selected dates. Here are the tour dates announced for May:

May 20 Trundle Manor, Pittsburgh, PA
May 21 Molly Malone's, Covington, KY
May 22 Mahall's, Cleveland, OH
May 23-26 Comicpalooza, Houston, TX

Cartwheels. This album is a colorful fusion of folk, bohemian, and the unique sound that can only be found in the very best circles of (steam)punk cabaret. The album includes three re-recorded, older songs and two new ones that live up to the band's sensational reputation. 

Track Listing
  1. Le Train (featuring "Tyrant" Taylor Galassi of This Way to the Egress on accordion)
  2. Caravan
  3. Mulina Mulina* (featuring Michael Lunapiena "The Wandering Cellist" on cello)
  4. Oh Jocelyne
  5. Halloween for Christmas*
"Le Train" is a rather bouncy number calling on a simple, yet incredibly catchy melody. It features lyrics in all French - and though the fans that don't speak French can't understand it, that doesn't seem to matter too much, as this track is one of the most played on the album (via targeted polling). On a side note, we were pretty excited to find that the accordion on this re-recorded track was performed by "Tyrant" Taylor Galassi of This Way to the Egress.

"Caravan." This track is gold. You can't find it for sale anywhere else because the original album is sold out and out of print. It's another punchy tune in the unique style we've come to expect of Frenchy and the Punk. It's perfect for a mid-paced foxtrot and the time signature works perfectly for the footwork.

"Mulina Mulina." The third tack on the album features Michael Lunapiena, "The Wandering Cellist," on cello. It's the second most popular track on the album. Personally, it reminds me of a Celtic lullaby I was sung as a child - though the name has long since been lost. According to the fans we polled and interviewed, this song has become loved due to its simple "rise-and-fall" melody, Frenchy's soothing voice, and the imagery within. If you only download the music by tracks rather than getting the full album, this is one of two songs you must acquire.
"Oh Jocelyne," a beautiful, unexpected gypsy-esque song about a fortune teller (or tarot reader) and her female client. We have to say, it has a nice twist. We won't spoil it for you - you have to listen to it for yourself - but it's well worth it. This song was originally titled "Oh Gypsy," and you can still find it floating around on YouTube.

"Halloween for Christmas." They saved the best for last. This song was recorded in December of last year and is by far the most popular on the song, surpassing all of the others. 10 of 10 in our focused polls rated this as the best song on the album and it is the most downloaded. We highly recommended this track and is the second (or rather, first) track you must download if you don't plan on purchasing the whole album (which is really a shame). It has all the elements of a great Frenchy and the Punk hit, and shares our views on Christmas v. Halloween. Spoiler: Halloween is awesome.

All in all, this is a fantastic EP featuring some of their best songs. We highly recommend the purchase! As discussed on our Facebook page, they've been on tour and still have a few shows coming up, so get out there and see them while you still have the chance!

Ninja Fish thinks this is great music to... get inspired with.
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