LOS ANGELES, CA – Waiting for new music can be a restless experience. But after six years of consistent EP and single teases, fans of indie-funk/electronic duo, Neil Frances, may now rejoice in the release of their first full-length album. Cleverly titled There is no Neil Frances, the album features Sydney-born producer Jordan Feller and SoCal-native vocalist Marc Gilfry, who together make the harmonious duo.

Previous releases from Neil Frances such as “Music Sounds Better With You” in 2017, and “here i become someone” featuring acclaimed producer Benny Sings from 2021 brought in hoards of new fans, raising their Spotify monthly listeners to over 2.3 million.

Needless to say, this full-length album release and multi-city tour count as a big deal for the duo and their patient fans. Their performance at the Fonda Theater was set for the day after the release. So naturally, attendees were oozing with excitement as they lined the block in an eager chatter ahead of the sold-out show. Masked herds began to pile in, and a familiar feeling of community filled the venue. Finally, we were together again, indulging in the joyous experience of live music.

The curtains raise and four bodies dawn the stage with no lack of cheer from the restless crowd. Feller takes left stage behind his keyboard and synth set up, while Gilfry takes center behind his mic and electric guitar. The two were accompanied by bassist, Gregorian, to the right and drummer, Rhythm Luna, holding the beat down in the back. All four of them were dressed in white, perhaps to symbolize the fresh new beginning of the album release and tour.

As if in slow motion, shrieks from all directions quiet as Gilfry strums a melodic riff. Feller joins in on the fluttering keys of his keyboard and the show begins. Funky electronic rhythms send spirits ablaze as the people ebb and flow. The dynamic synergy of each member made the four-piece band sound as if they were destined to play together. Infectious grooves from their popular releases “finding rhythm” and “It’s like a dream” satisfy the crowds until Gilfry exclaims,” Let’s pick it up!”

Suddenly, the set transitions from hip-swaying rhythms to then building and swelling into the enthralling instrumentals of “be free.” off their new album. But this version is different. It’s darker, reminiscent of thrashy electronic rock. Red floodlights fill the stage as each member contributes to the bass and symbol-heavy crescendo that shakes the ground underneath and nearly deafens me. I peer over the balcony in an exhilarated flutter as the crowd roars. This was the moment they’d been waiting for all night; to let loose and be free. Gilfry is full-on screaming distorted song lyrics and at that moment I remembered how powerful and unexpected live music can be. Although listening to the album alone, I never imagined the duo would rock out this hard. But this was live music; twists, turns, and surprises light up the night, and that they did.

Each member and their instruments were spotlighted as they took turns carrying the melting melodies, beat breaks, and electrifying hooks of the night’s soundtrack.  What a soundtrack it was, bringing to life the carefree, dreamlike energy we’ve all patiently longed for. Neil Frances took us on a journey, displaying their ability to play a diverse compilation of music and genres made up of funk and disco, soul, house, and even rock. Their show at the Fonda Theater was the satisfying reintroduction to live music that we needed.

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Neil Frances @ Fonda Theatre 1/29/22. Photo by Iris Chu (@hernameisiris) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Neil Frances @ Fonda Theatre 1/29/22. Photo by Iris Chu (@hernameisiris) for www.BlurredCulture.com.