Fran, the songwriting project of Maria Jacobson, is sexy rock u can cry to. Since releasing their debut EP, More Enough, on Chicago’s Lake Paradise Records in December 2017, they have embedded themselves into the Chicago music scene and opened up for notable acts such as Jen Cloher, LVL UP, and Karl Blau. Fran’s songs have been described as “catchy and complex, a little strange, bringing to mind the side of the fork in the road of ’90s alt rock that didn’t lead to Creed” and “introspective anthems made for rainy days” and are prescribed to those who suffer from ‘time’ as a medical condition.
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. 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.”
(Photo Credit: Reilly Drew)