Beehouse Records; June 2008
Franklin for Short’s recent release, Swell, may be filed under the nostalgia-heavy indie-meets-surf-meets-Americana genre, but the end result of the album is something altogether new. Their seventh release (produced by Jonathan DeBaun of The Mars Volta), Swell blends the sweet sounds of melodic ’60s pop with arrangements reminiscent of bands like Modest Mouse, and a bit of Wilco-style twang. From the poppy “Basement Ghost” to the alt-country sounds of “Honey, Yer Sweet,” the Ventura-based foursome cover all their bases with Swell. The thought-provoking lyrics and varied song styles show the band’s progression from an acoustic duo to a danceable rock band. And fans of acts like AM, Elliott Smith, and The Beach Boys will undoubtedly enjoy the experience. It’s an album that will make you dance, smile, and even work your mind a bit.