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Warbling tales from Wollongong locals: The Francos walk us through their wondrous debut EP

Wollongong locals The Francos dropped their debut EP Take The Train Home over the weekend, an impressively infectious first release grounded in the pleasures of Aussie suburbia.

It’s been spinning in our office since it landed, so we reached out to The Francos to dig a little deeper. Straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s where every piece of Take The Train Home came to be, and exactly how those pieces fit together.

the francos take the train home debut EP wollongong

Redacted time signatures, retro synth lines and regional references: The Francos run us through their debut EP Take The Train Home.

To Keep You Going

We begin the EP with our most synth driven and energetic track. We open our live sets with this song and found that it grabbed the audience’s attention and wanted the same effect on the record. The bare bones of the song were written during a jam session and it very quickly became our favourite song to play live.

I used the song for a uni songwriting assignment, which forced me to finish off the lyrics. At the time a number of my favourite local bands were calling it quits, so I essentially wrote a heartfelt encouragement song to my favourite artists/performers like Jeremy Neale and Friendlyjordies. I got an 80 mark for the assignment, so hopefully it’s received that way on this EP.

Had To Come From Somewhere

Xavier wrote the music for our second track, originally playing it in a 6/8 time signature. We already had another song in that time signature and you can’t have two songs in 6/8, so we changed it to common time and there it has stayed.

Both Xavier (bass/guitar) and Alec (drums) wrote excellent parts for their respective instruments. With that in mind, I had to make sure I wrote some good synth parts, and so the quasi-Stranger Things bridge section was born. Lyrically, the song is about Wollongong’s migrant roots and development through the Steel Works.

Take The Train Home

The middle of the EP begins with a finger-picked guitar and cross-sticks but gradually builds to a much more energetic conclusion. Along the way, however, we are greeted by diversifying bridge sections and harmonised guitar solos. If you can’t already tell by my pretentious descriptions, this is my favourite song on the record.

The title track is about the colourful characters you witness around town and on public transport, and the fact that you don’t personally know these people, but regularly cross paths with them.

What About Tomorrow

This song is about my favourite high school pastime, procrastination. The track is a true team effort, as the song would be rather dull without Alec’s drumming in the second verse or the fuzz-guitar part written by Andrew (our former guitarist) in the same section.

The brass intro and inclusion in the last chorus was a last minute idea from Xavier, who insisted I drive back home to get my trumpet. Also included in the lyrics is a reference to my favourite online comic strip Cyanide and Happiness, a website I would often frequent instead of staying on task.

Fill a Hole

The closing track is the second song we wrote as a band, but also seems to be the most confusing for anyone who listens to it. Almost everyone believes this song is about sex (due to the title), but if you take your mind out of the gutter for a brief moment, you will realise it is about a person filling the emotional void left by an ex-partner.

Fill a Hole has been recorded a total of seven times, however it is only now that we have been satisfied with the finished product, so we can finally move on with our lives.

 

Take The Train Home is out now. 

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November 23, 2017

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