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New Music Friday Chapter 30

Sep 18, 2020

By ALICE

To put it simply, Frankie and The Studs rock like hell. They’re a mix of dirty converse, and messy black hair, slender hips and big kohl eyes, sexual tension and youthful verve. Already scoring opening slots for the iconic B-52’s, Billie Joe Armstrong’s The Longshot, and The Struts, Frankie and The Studs are defining rock n’ roll for a whole new generation of kids ready to smash culture to bits. 

Frankie Clarke is the effervescent singer, songwriter, and guitarist who fronts the band, and with a prolific family history in the music and fashion industries, it’s hardly a surprise that she has star power coursing through her veins. As the daughter of Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, she took her first steps on a tour bus and was playing in a band by the age of eleven. An electric force with a badass stage presence, killer style, and a sophisticated musicality, Frankie is paving the path for a new era of rock chicks. 

“’(Not Your) Victim’ is a song inspired by the inherent strength women possess. “Through the challenges of living in a patriarchal society, we can never have enough reminders of our innate superpowers as women,” Frankie writes. “Women supporting women is a powerful force to be reckoned with and this song reminds us to do just that.” Written by Frankie Clarke and Anthony Stasi, and produced by Paul Miner at Buzzbomb Studios CA, “(Not Your) Victim” makes a strong statement, lyrically and musically.

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New York trio Sunflower Bean—Julia CummingNick Kivlen, and Jacob Faber—released their sophomore album Twentytwo in Blue in 2018, which skyrocketed to the UK’s Top 40, and quickly followed it with 2019’s King of the Dudes EP, which saw the band’s Triple A debut with “Come For Me.” Since then, the band opened for Bernie Sanders and The Strokes in New Hampshire, Cumming appeared on Yves Tumor’s “Strawberry Privilege,” and the band toured extensively with the likes of BeckCage the ElephantInterpolCourtney Barnett, and more, while also playing countless festivals internationally. 
Now, Sunflower Bean returns with their first new material of 2020. “Moment In The Sun” is about the importance of spending time with the ones you love, and is a concept that resonates now more than ever. Produced by Dave Bassett (Vance Joy, Bishop Briggs, Fitz and the Tantrums) and Jacob Portrait (of Unknown Mortal Orchestra), “Moment In The Sun” is out now, alongside a stunning music video made in quarantine with VMA-nominated directors Andy DeLuca and Sarah Eisman, co-starring Julia Cumming and Marquis Rodriguez of Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us

“‘Moment In The Sun’ is about finally recognizing what is important in one’s life, the people you decide to spend it with,” Sunflower Bean explains of the track. “All of these things we distract ourselves with, the neverending mountain of career climbing, the pursuit of financial success, and the hope that after all that trying you could finally be cool. All of that is meaningless in comparison to one great day, hour, or moment with someone you really love.”
The band further explains of the video: “While quarantining together upstate this summer we decided to make a music video for ‘Moment In The Sun.’ We thought the best way to visually represent the meaning of the song, while also taking inspiration from this isolating time everyone has been forced to live in, was to create two separate worlds. One world which exists totally inside a home, mostly in a lonely bedroom. The other world exists completely outside in the sun and is made up of memories of a summer love. We invited Marquis Rodriguez, who is one of Julia’s best friends since high school and also an incredibly talented actor, to co-star in the video. He was crucial in helping us tell the story of summer love and show those potent memories of tenderness coming to life. While living alone, the character Julia is portraying becomes flooded with memories and moments from the past summer, and as a result her bedroom starts to transform into the outdoor world. We built up the entire bedroom using real sod and flowers. Her memories are brought to life, just like the room.” 

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Genre-bending musician and multimedia artist Mobley is known for creating catchy hooks and melodic pop songs that never leave your head. With his newest single, “James Crow,” he’s created a shout-along ‘60s rock band sound (assisted by Spoon’s Jim Eno on the mix) with thought-provoking lyrics that may take a second to sink in. Mobley wrote the song in 2018 when he was away in Thailand, where the distance from the US opened up themes of belonging, alienation and speaking truth to power. Allusions to segregation and the minstrel song “Jump Jim Crow” set up a takedown of the unjust systems and revanchist politics of current times. 
“I want to draw people in with that serotonin hit you get from a catchy, well-crafted song,” explains Mobley. “But once they’re in, I want to implicate them in all of the grim, unsightly realities of what’s going on in our country. As they’re singing along, it’s like ‘What did he say? What am I chanting right now?’” 

To celebrate the song’s release, Mobley will embark on a “Curbside Tour” to perform “James Crow” from the streets outside the houses of fans. Each performance will be intimate (one family per yard) and from a safe social distance of a dozen or more meters. He will also give out handmade, bootleg cassettes of the single. For out-of-town fans, Mobley will offer one-on-one livestream performances. In addition, Mobley is curating a reading list of books that explore themes in the song for the Austin Public Library.

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