Franklin, “Washing”

Sjimon Gompers

Franklin

Franklin, the combined forces of Frank Rabeyrolles and Lockhart. (photos courtesy of the artists)

You might know Frank Rabeyrolles from his recordings under the moniker Double U, and now the philosophy doctorate has added the Paris producer, Lockhart on board to inhabit the Franklin sonic-spheres. Following the recent listen to the “If I Was a Wolf” single, we debut “Washing” from their upcoming album Cold Dreamer from Plug Research / Wool Recordings. Whereas “Wolf” took us out on the hungry and hunting prowl, those electro items are transformed into a cleansing baptismal where second chances and new opportunities fall like rain.

Franklin works in mediums that deal in the art of the unexpected. On “Washing” a secret garden is discovered with guitars intertwined like ivy on the electric iron grates that align the entrance gates into the botanical sanctuary. Chords reserved for pop balladry are greeted by the flanging flight and channel pan of synthesized floral beds that find company and nourishment from the photosynthesis of drum machines. As the sum of the track's components are gathered into the hook, “Washing” pours like a cloud breaking faucet where human emotions, feelings, and tears are conveyed like the convection cycles of weather. And while Franklin creates one of the catchiest audio displays of affections, the song soothes by playing into the patterns that bathe hang-ups and hangovers with the possibility of a bright new day.

Frank took time to take us behind and beyond the academics at work.

Describe to us the connection between philosophy, of which you have a Phd in, and your love for drum machines.

As a student I used to learn a lot about the difference between Mechanism and Organism. Drum machines are kind of automaton but they also have this very special 'organic' thing, especially old ones, I love their random part. That's maybe a connection between philosophy and love of drum machines. Old machines have secret life. They keep something secret far away from rationalism and that's also connected to philosophy somewhere.

What is different for you making music as Franklin with Lockhart, versus your music made under the Double U alias?

Double U is more of an introspective alias, probably a little bit more 'songwriting' oriented. Franklin was more opened to a kind of collaboration. When we decided to work on this new album together I wanted Nico to take a real place in the process of creation. The idea was to find a new energy together and a new way of producing tracks as we don't live in the same city. Lockhart knew my different albums and knew what I wanted to change and what I expected from him. It soon appeared that working together was very easy.

What was the writing and recording process like for the making of Cold Dreamer?

I wrote the songs then we listened to the demos together and Nico worked on new production trying to keep the DNA of the tracks but also pushing things forward by experimenting and adding some new beats and synths parts. Tracks were traveling between the sun of Montpellier and the Parisian energy.

The trick to making warm electronic with a backdrop of cold dreams?

I used to be an electronica kid but also jazz and Indie rock. Cold Dreamer is a very far reference to 'new wave' bands I used to listen to. This album is haunted by opposite feelings. I wanted to stay apart from Manichaeism and I quite easily describe myself as a 'cold dreamer.'

What else does Franklin have in the works?

We currently are working on new material such as music videos, a remix, podcast… we have unreleased songs apart from the album we'd like to finish. We're also working a lot on our gigs.

Franklin's album, Cold Dreamer will be available in May from Plug Research Records / Wool Recordings.

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