There was a time (the bulk of their career, in fact) that Scottish post-punk realists turned indie dance rockers Franz Ferdinand never played Nashville, but, with a stellar new LP in tow, Always Ascending, the group are set to make their return after just one year, to headline Cannery Ballroom tonight, Aug. 14! Along with buzzy up and coming San Francisco synth punks POW!, this is going to be a stellar summer show for fans of indie, and an excellent time to catch Franz, with a revamped lineup and some of their best tunes in years. Tickets are still available here and might not last, so grab yours now and read on for more about the show!
Part of the post-punk revival that massively dominated and influenced rock in the early ’00s and spanning throughout last decade, Glasgow’s Franz Ferdinand sprung to international acclaim with their breakout hit “Take Me Out” 15 years ago, not long after first forming, having previously played together in various projects in the ’90s, and shortly before their critically-lauded, award winning, eponymous debut. The group went on to release a string of additional great LPs, exploring elements of dance rock, indie, and art rock, continuing on as a massive fixture in the scene, even as post-punk and garage rock’s boom began to wane. The start of this decade was a little bit slow, especially stateside, but Franz Ferdinand made a triumphant return with their 2013 fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, touring the U.S. that year for the first time in ages, including their first Nashville outing ever. The group made their way back to Music City last year, but with the recent release of their excellent new effort Always Ascending, we’re thrilled to see them back so soon. Helmed by acclaimed producer Philippe Zdar, the record is their first without founding guitarist Nick McCarthy, adding keyboard player, guitarist, and producer Julian Corrie to the mix in his absence (and, since, recruiting famed guitarist Dino Bardot as well). Easily the band’s most focused, original, and inspired album in years, Always Ascending feels both like a callback to their earlier work, and a captivating exploration of new sonic territories. Franz Ferdinand have always been more adventurous than many of their peers who emerged around the same time, and it’s their ability to adapt and reinvent that’s kept them so relevant and perseverant more than a decade and a half in. It’s always a treat when they make it to Nashville, and we advise you to catch them any chance you get!
Emerging “from the tech-waste of the shiny/shitty new San Francisco,” synth punks POW! definitely bear a strong influence from the scene Franz Ferdinand help pioneer, fusing post-punk and dance punk sensibilities with deep, bass heavy, retro synth tones and biting, raw, hypnotic arrangements. Since first finding buzz with their 2014 debut LP Hi-Tech Boom, the group have released two more excellent efforts, 2015’s Fight Fire and last year’s underrated Crack an Egg, all on Oh Sees’ John Dwyer’s Castle Face label. Perfectly suited to start things off, show up early or you’re going to regret it!
Franz Ferdinand and POW! will perform tonight, Aug. 14 at Cannery Ballroom. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $35.