Mads Francis has released his new single titled ‘Beyond the Pines’. I will start this by cutting to the chase. Holy sh*t, this song gets right down to it. That sweet combination of hook and hope with a sweet blend of pop and punk that adds just enough of everything needed to keep this song in your head long after that first listen. This is the yeti in the forest of your mind. Listen. Absorb. Ingest.
About Mads Francis
Tucked away amongst the white pines of a New England coastal town is Mads Francis. He emerges with a debut record poised to transcend the tight-knit, southern Maine music scene he hails from. The singer/songwriter’s grand entrance comes in the form of a six-track EP titled ‘The Violet Crown’, showcasing his dark mood, ear for melody, and affinity for modern pop-punk.
His music is fun and poppy while his lyrics are laced with horror and melancholy. Francis’ signature style is embodied in the lead track taken from the EP ‘Beyond the Pines’, which combines playful riffs, big drums, and heavy themes to produce a truly cathartic musical experience.
Mads Francis on the meaning behind the new track:
‘“Beyond the Pines” is a pop-punk piece that examines childhood bonds postmortem. It describes the sentiment that you can’t grow up and forge your own path without leaving some casualties in your wake. It’s about the collapse of a life-long friendship or relationship. The haunting, underlying theme suggests that nothing good can last. It asks questions back and forth: “What if I were this—what if you were that? Would it have worked out then?”.’
‘The two friends try to find deeper purposes for themselves in uncharted territory—a place beyond the pines in upstate New York. The backdrop of the song is meant to be the Schenectady area. The friends walked around day and night, and when they were old enough to drive, got behind the wheel to cover more ground, in a sense. After years of searching, they wound up empty-handed, destitute, and each other’s worst enemies. The question is: How do you start over when everything you’ve known and everything that’s shaped you falls away?’
As the last track written for the EP, Mads Francis made sure that it was to leave a lasting impression on the listener, putting a twist on the typical pop chord progressions with more baritone-sounding folk chords.
Inspired by the idea of ‘anguish of freedom’ by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, Francis included this into the framework of the track, telling the story from the perspective of finding one’s purpose and searching for meaning. Laced with inspiration from his love of history, literature and philosophy, the EP includes Shakespearean easter eggs and hidden motifs, with the EP title itself coming from a somewhat obscure nickname given to Athens, Greece by Ancient Greek poet Pindar and also to Austin, Texas by short-story writer O. Henry.
It marries the Greek mythological references of my project with the city in which I wrote the bulk of its material. In the album, the “Violet Crown” is depicted as a deserted island that the shipwrecked narrator finds himself stranded upon.- Francis adds
‘The Violet Crown’ came together at The Halo Studio in Maine where Mads Francis worked with recording engineer Kevin Billingslea who has also worked with The Pretty Reckless, Lamb of God and Trivium. The album was produced by Point North frontman Jon Lundin, with notable credits in engineering and production for big names such as Sleeping With Sirens, 5 Seconds of Summer, Good Charlotte, Mayday Parade and Atreyu.
Growing up, Mads Francis found himself inspired by bands such as Slipknot, Linkin Park, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He was introduced by his friends to new artists, new sounds, and new ways to approach playing music, which propelled him into exploring every facet of music he could find, developing his tastes and values shaping him into the writer he is today.
Featured image by Amber Chilton.