Freddy & Francine have taken a surprisingly soulful turn for their newest album, I Am Afraid to Die! While their songwriting may be tied to their perception that we’re approaching the end of the world, the duo’s Lee Ferris and Bianca Caruso are looking back with some retro R&B vibes. But don’t get bummed out by such thoughts of doom. As the band states on their website, “The obligation we feel as artists is to respond authentically to what we observe. On this record we aimed for a joyful celebration of the flaws in our humanity while facing the erosion of our collective spirit and looming extinction. We filter our anger, fear, and frustrations through our music and transmute it into joy!”
In a year of unexpected twists and turns, the musical shift is an interesting detour from the folk-pop arrangements that brought the Nashville couple a national following. In this performance video filmed at Ear Trumpet Labs in Portland, Oregon, Freddy & Francine are using a Louise microphone on vocals, an Edwina on the guitar amp, and a stereo pair of Delphinas as room mics. Enjoy their back-to-basics rendition of “By No Means,” which is (perhaps fittingly) the final track on I Am Afraid to Die!