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  • David Bentley

Frank Frank Frank 🇫🇮 - ‘This Love’ (single)

Frank Frank Frank is “a three-headed dog” if you believe their self-penned PR. An unusual description by any means but “an organic, powerful, layered, jagged creature”, well that I have less trouble accommodating. Perhaps in the spirit of Pigsx7 they should shorten the band name to Frankx3 and spare me repetitive strain injury.

We did briefly introduce them in 2017, but the only one of this trio of Finnish ladies that I’m familiar with is Stina Koistinen, who has graced these pages in a variety of guises previously (though never as a dog): on her own account as ‘Stinako’, within Color Dolor (quite recently) and with Astrid Swan. She provides the vocals here, of course (and ‘effects’), along with Anni Elifin also on vocals and on synthesiser, and a third vocalist, Amanda Blomqvist who also plays drums and does the sampling stuff.

I have nothing on Anni or Amanda but they look familiar and they may be in other bands, too. They style themselves as “the deepest essence of pop, rooted harmony singing and improvisation” and are collectively influenced in their “peculiar world” by PJ Harvey, Feist, and Arthur Russell. There are so many peculiar worlds up there in Finland, with some of the zaniest artists you’ll find anywhere although these girls are careful not to stray too far from the beaten path and get themselves labelled as ‘novelty’ because they assuredly are not.

The strap line to the song is “this is no ordinary love” and frankly speaking, it’s no ordinary song, either. I don’t know how to pigeonhole it but it has a cabaret and even almost a burlesque angle to it. Something out of a musical perhaps and reminiscent of some of the songs on Katzenjammer’s first album.

It starts off quite sedately with Stina providing solo vocal, and in a manner befitting of her Stinako persona to the background of what is, I guess, an analog synthesiser. When the main melody arrives and the other two join in the heavenly harmonies are wonderful as it swoops and soars, part gospel choir, part full-on 1970s Detroit.

And what I really like about it is that they didn’t overdo the production, which they might have been tempted to do with what could be a very powerful song with all the bells and whistles attached. In fact, apart from the semi-military beat of the drums, the instrumentation plays no more than a minor supporting role to the vocals.

A nice song you’ll want to listen to many times. Any chance of an album?

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