The new album from Jonathan Franco, the self-released Swimming Alone Around The Room, is an intimate set of lyrical and lovely compositions. That Franco's material defies easy categorization only adds to the appeal of this sort of music.
While some numbers here, like the gently-surging "A Topiary" and "Season", suggest selections from Elliott Smith, others, like the ambient "Traveling Music", dip even further back, to the earliest solo recordings from Brian Eno. Elsewhere, the percolating "Distance" and the spry "Airplanes" recall both Durutti Column and Badly Drawn Boy offerings. Franco is a master at this sort of bedsit indie, and while the tracks here on Swimming Alone Around The Room very nearly seem to be light as air, Jonathan, to his credit, doesn't let things get too precious. The cuts on this record are just simple, airy bits of business, the quiet passages every bit as important as the moments that (quietly) surge.
Fans of The Blue Nile, Dif Juz, Eno, and His Name Is Alive should find things to love here. Swimming Alone Around The Room is out tomorrow and it's one of this week's most enjoyable records.
More details on Jonathan Franco via his official Facebook page.
[Photo: Uncredited artist Bandcamp pic]