Frankie & The Heartstrings
Frankie & The Heartstrings are a five-piece from Sunderland, a town noted for its down-at-heel introspection that more than occasionally veers into self-loathing. In a way it’s not surprising that it pushes up bands who, musically, seem the very opposite of that.
Frankie & The Heartstrings formed two years ago in Sunderland when guitarist Michael McKnight and drummer David Harper hooked up with Frankie over cocktails at a calypso night in a pub the singer was running at the time. They were probably all a little surprised at how easily it gelled.
A fistful of songs came together readily; two of which became the band’s debut single. Hunger / Fragile was a double A side 7” released on Rough Trade in December 2009 and gained the sort of airplay and attention that new bands usually only dream of. A debut tour supporting Florence & The Machine in huge venues across the UK wrapped up a year that finished as quickly as it had started unassumingly.
They graced Glastonbury’s Park Stage last year and gradually worked their way up bills over the months until they found themselves headlining stages at Summer Sundae, Lounge on the Farm and Latitude. The summer was capped off by an invitation to fulfill the much-vaunted opening slot on the vast NME / Radio 1 stage at Reading & Leeds festivals. Both shows drew impressively large crowds for a band who, at this point, more people had read about than probably heard. Frankie & co. won them over and those who attended left happy in their early-bird judgment.
October saw the release of third single Ungrateful with its rising chorus and mantra-like call of ‘I wrote this song with you in mind’. Shows in New York and Tokyo followed, plus an inaugural tour of Europe and a further set of shows across the UK with legend, hero and influence Edwyn Collins.
Edwyn Collins has also produced the band’s album, during sessions throughout late summer/early Autumn at his West Heath Studios in London. Titled “Hunger”, the record will be released on 21st February 2011 on PopSex Ltd / Wichita Recordings.
Few bands have the sort of year that 2010 has been for Frankie & The Heartstrings, but few bands are as vivacious, exciting, enticing and downright brilliant. 2011 is set to be the year that the music world recognizes them for the stars they are.