NYC’s London Plane Premieres “Francesco” Music Video

Today, NYC-based dark wave ensemble, London Plane drops a new single and VIDEO, “Francesco,”’ with MAGNET.

For anyone turned on by the undistilled goth punk of The Damned, the epic, melancholic pop of Echo and the Bunnymen, seminal stuff like Bauhaus, or Bowie’s Low/Lodger Berlin era, this is for you. And even if you’re not, it still is.

“Francesco” is but a portal to London Plane’s dark inflorescence – the mind meld of principal songwriter/guitarist, David Mosey and front-and-center singer, Jessica Cole, embellished to raging perfection by guitar master, Kristofer Widholm, Julian Tulip on keys, and Bryan Garbe and Grant Parker, drums and bass, respectively. The song, this time, features Mosey’s baritone leading the narrative under a post punk throb (think Gang of Four) and its accompanying video, directed by Mosey himself, presents a slightly menacing pastiche complete with negative exposure, creepy, forboding black and white footage, but all not without its share of dancing.

Mosey tells MAGNET, “When stepping back and looking at a near-complete group of songs, we saw that the Bright Black album tended towards the subjects of political villains, cultural isolation, and ecological devastation, so we felt it necessary to lighten it up a bit with a dance song about a levitating priest who displays the wounds of Christ. We’ve never had so much fun on stage as we do when performing Francesco — we may even switch to (poor) Italian for a verse or two, a nod to Padre Pio himself.”

“Francesco” came about quickly in the summer of 2019. Right about the time that London Plane was finishing recording their forthcoming B R I G H T  B L A C K album, the band was to see Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy perform in their hometown of New York. But the show was canceled following Murphy’s hospitalization the previous night. Afraid that they may never see him again, the band’s response was to write their own shadowy dance anthem. The resulting song spins the tale of the Catholic Saint, stigmatist and mystic Padre Pio as a young man. Padre Pio, or ‘Francesco’ as he was known prior to the priesthood, was said to bleed continuously from his hands and feet, levitate, bi-locate and perform miracles. The scent of roses trailed him everywhere he went. The song imagines Francesco as a young man, known through Italy as a miracle worker with the wounds of Christ, yet tortured, isolated, and lonely because of this affliction. Juxtaposing the story of this horror phenomenon.

The upcoming album, B R I G H T  B L A C K, due out in June 2020, is the follow up to London Plane’s 2018’s acclaimed debut, New York Howl, described by POP MATTERS as “A gutsy slab of avante pop that you won’t soon forget… a band that has bright things in store for it, even if the music is deliciously dark,” and the UK’s LOUDER THAN WAR proclaiming, “(They) build punchy and elegant pop songs, awash with the specter of Bowie and his disciples – Echo and The Bunnymen, Peter Murphy, Siouxsie Sioux – while also nodding to the sound of 1960’s Ronnie Spector.”

B R I G H T  B L A C K not only sets out to reconnect you with the band itself, it looks to re-acquaint you with the threat of imminent cultural, social, political, and ecological devastation, then ask, “do you feel the call to rise as we do, take it on where our heroes left off?” If so, turn it up, dance with us while you listen. Rejecting a culture of me-first indulgence, B R I G H T  B L A C K is a pulsing, relentless, hook-filled avant-rock study in context and contradictions — snarling while disco, ruminative while dancey, cerebral while demented, fogs of sweetness becoming venom, melancholy becoming hope, with bass-bruising grooves over lush textures, at once nodding to the spaghetti western and British post-punk goth anthems.

Though the intricacies of the album were developed methodically over most of 2019, the identity and frame of the songs were written quickly during short, intense sessions which followed listening bursts from their ideological and sonic forebears (Stravinsky, Kate Bush, Bauhaus to name a few) serving to form the mood for the evening. If the song didn’t seem vital, dangerous, the group moved on.

Thus, the B R I G H T  B L A C K album is a collection of songs that you could look forward to and that the band believes reflect the lightning. They’re as willful, barbed, sardonic and hopeful as they were in minute one when the spirit first showed up.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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