The Francine Odysseys

Since its emergence in the early ’80s, indie pop has spoken to a certain kind of kid — the precocious wallflower, the gifted underachiever, the concerned best friend. If its twee aesthetic sometimes suggested nostalgia for a kind of a pre-sexual innocence, the genre's ethos retained the stubborn self-reliance of its older punk sibling. Eventually, indie pop kids grow up, but they often feel strangely out of scale in a world even bigger and dumber than they expected, still standing somewhere apart (and a little bit sideways) from their louder, brasher peers.

The Francine Odysseys are a new indie pop group animated by that sort of wistful and misplaced aesthetic.

Native Midwesterner Gretchen DeVault (The Icicles, Voluptuous Panic) is a veteran of the indie pop scene. DeVault led The Icicles through a series of well-received albums and high-profile licensing deals with Target and Motorola in the early 2000s. When she moved to Los Angeles in 2016, DeVault reached out to her indie pop network to find musical collaborators. She connected with accomplished indie pop guitarist Ian Patrick (History of Manners) and the Francine Odysseys was formed.

In early 2019, The Francine Odysseys pulled in fellow indie musicians Mike Butkovic and John Miller to record their first single Round & Round at comp-ny in Los Angeles. After the release of the single, DeVault and Patrick recorded their debut EP What If We Were Wrong? in DeVault’s Pasadena studio.

The Francine Odysseys find themselves positioned alongside a new generation of indie pop artists like Jay Som, The Beths, and Alvvays, fellow travelers who share a love for the music of their youth: The Sundays, Yo La Tengo, The Magnetic Fields, and Belly. The cumulative effect of these influences is clearly felt as the band makes meaning out of life’s bittersweet and messy juxtapositions. Jangly guitar hooks, catchy melodies and bright vocals deliver a beautiful sound that invites repeat listening. The result is a fresh take on indie pop that synthesizes loss and uncertainty with comforting melodies that unfold to reveal an intense depth of emotional complexity.

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