With a cool and summery energy, Blue Ceilings by Montreal band The Franklin Electric delivers an absolutely melodic and pleasing gem. The 11-track epic has a folksy, indie vibe that feels genuine and raw, reminiscent of other acts such as Young the Giant, The Fray, and Local Natives. With a performance that gracefully puts together guitars, pianos, and honeyed vocals, Blue Ceilings is a solid and fantastically put-together record.
The record opens with “I Know The Feeling,” an airy and melodic ballad with a surprisingly catchy chorus. The easy, feel-good vibe of this track is captured perfectly by the light and fluffy instrumental. The listener is lovingly eased into the album, with The Franklin Electric showing off their musical combination of breezy instrumentals and soulful lyricism.
“Someone Just Like You” has a somewhat 80’s vibe, if not for the pulsing synth that laces throughout the track. Again, The Franklin Electric shows off more of their fantastic lyricism, capturing blue angst in a stylishly cool package.
Track 3’s “Burning Flame” has more of a windy, country vibe that feels steadier than the first two tracks. It leads up to the skillful performances in “Save Yourself,” featuring some of the best vocal work throughout the album. Skillful and melodious, the band shows off a brave maturity that shines especially strongly here.
The strong performances continue in “All Along,” a track that combines the bands mature demeanour with a catchy and radio-accessible swagger. The chorus here is hooky enough that would make “All Along” sound friendly on the radio. “All Along” is a memorable track thanks to its skillfully put-together instrumental, a melodic and varied vocal performance, and a conventional and easy-listening amicability.
“Walk With You” is the first angsty-sounding ballad on the record with a piano-laden instrumental that is reminiscent of Augustana. Here, The Franklin Electric sounds more introspective, reflected in both the instrumental and the vocal work. Again, Blue Ceilings‘ impressive lyricism is put on display here.
“So Far” is a more straight-forward serenade that shows off some of the best falsetto performances throughout the record. It will be hard to not be enamoured with how saccharine the performance is here, thanks to the sweet combination of melodious vocals and the band’s airy instrumentals. “So Far” is another radio-friendly track that audiences will fall in love with.
“Resistance” shows off more of a pop-rock flair, coming in as the most upbeat track on the record. The record then ends with “Can I Get It Back,” the most upbeat track on the album that we wish appeared a little earlier on the record.
“Can I Get It Back” has a rocky flair that ends the album on a melancholic but dancey note, with The Franklin Electric finally showing us unrestrained energy. It’s a feel-good track that aptly rounds out what is otherwise a fantastic record before fading out in the album’s piano outro.
Blue Ceilings is a well-written indie record. It suffers a little from coming off a little too monotonous, with not enough variation between the record’s mostly soft and chill tracks, but The Franklin Electric more than makes up for this with their solid performances. Moreover, there are many bright spots on the album that make for memorable moments, thanks to the band’s masterful use of airy instrumentals and sugary vocals. Blue Ceilings is a great record, and indie folk fans will surely enjoy this album.
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