CHICAGO’S FRAN SHARE FIRST SINGLE FROM DEBUT ALBUM
DEBUT ALBUM A PRIVATE PICTURE COMING NOVEMBER 15TH ON FIRE TALK RECORDS
Fire Talk Records are announcing the debut album, A Private Picture, from Chicago’s Fran today.
Fran’s debut album is an extremely personal album, informed as much by her experience as an actor, Chicago-based Maria Jacobson (Fran) sets the stage for her deeply personal and evocative brand of guitar playing with the first single, “Company,” a visceral refrain about retaking ownership of yourself in the face of misogyny and entitlement that builds to a crescendo putting Jacobson completely in control.
The adept technical work of fellow bandmates’ contributions from the prolific Chicago DIY scene present a cohesive, essential element to uplifting this decisive first single. Jacobson explains that with the video for “Company” she “wanted to explore the traditionally male-dominated spaces (sports courts, diy basement shows, drum sets) and dig into the absurdity of that entitlement. And it is ridiculous at this point because the tide is changing so much. I think everyone is tired of all-male bills, condescending sound guys and unsafe/aggressive music spaces.”
Fran’s debut album draws from Jacobson’s time as an actor, with elaborate, moving arrangements tied together by her succinct, incisive lyricism, Jacobson is able to draw the listener in and make you feel, fully, the weight of these songs. The songs constrict and contract, creating emotionally poignant moments through sudden bursts of guitar, with Jacobson’s vocals cutting across the noise authoritatively. In its honesty, vulnerability, and power the debut album from Fran is an impeccable introduction to an exciting new band from the fertile Chicago DIY scene.
The trick is to make a confession entertaining. A Private Picture, the debut album by Chicago’s Fran, delivers a collection of extremely personal experiences that have been distilled and abstracted to the point that you can see yourself in their imagery, find analogs to your own emotional history in their scenarios –when you hear them, it’s a conversation. It’s therapy, if therapy was allowed to turn you on and make you shake what you got.
Maria Jacobson began writing songs during a time of great personal upheaval. Working as an actor at a summer repertory theatre in rural Indiana after a disillusioning stint in the Chicago theatre scene and a series of failed relationships, she bought a guitar and taught herself to play. Through this instrument and her voice, she discovered a way to process the pain of recent events and draw ambiguities closer to conclusions.
Landing an English teaching job with sparse hours in a small city in Mexico afforded the time and space to develop as a songwriter: playing and writing all night until it became clear that a body of work was forming.
Maria returned to Chicago and kept a cool head while navigating the general hassle that is getting your first band together. She employed the help of friend and bassist Atticus Lazenby to form the band and arrange their first EP called More Enough. It was through the release of the EP on Chicago tape label Lake Paradise that she met Jake Acosta. Jacobson remembers, “We met for beers at this weird bar that doesn’t exist anymore in Humboldt Park and were so happy to have met each other. That is sort of where everything changed.”
At its core, Fran’s music is about sharing a truth -–telling it, confessing it, yelling it—in the service of human connection. Or, as Jacobson puts it,“I feel that I am a songwriter for the same reason I wanted to be an actor. I want to tell the truth. I want to challenge myself to get closer and closer to the core of an experience, an emotion- I want to say it, sing it, in a way that says exactly what it is. I cry when I write songs because I am constantly making discoveries, about myself, about the world, about the best way to convey and connect and get closer.”