Dutch Party, the musical vehicle with a glove compartment full of earworms created by Ken Franklin, debuted in 2014 with the infectious “Echo Girl,” following with the “Astral Nights” EP in 2015 and the Bernie Sanders homage “Passenger” last year. Steadfastly politically aware, Dutch Party is calling its new EP “Combat Pop,” arriving his fall. It’s a homemade effort, made in Franklin’s Highland Park abode and embracing a sound he calls “high flying lo-fi.” The San Francisco native expounds: “The whole record was such a DIY effort. We love lo-fi records, but based off the first EP there was some expectation for us to make a true pop record. So from the get-go our mantra kind of became this thing called ‘high flying lo-fi’ where essentially we would record in Mad Hatter raggedy ways, then try and polish and lift these tracks as high as we could. Some weekends we’d scrape enough money together to rent a Fairchild 670 limiter and other times we’d record a piano part mono on someone’s iPhone. The whole purpose being to create a record to inspire future iconoclasts to live and think differently than the status quo.”
The first single “Blade Runner,” named for the classic sci-fi-noir film, bundles those sounds with some sundry mixed messages (“You can tie me down to the top of the world / but I’m long gone” and an outro full of “summer sunlight”) to achieve a liberating three minutes of pop. It sounds a little like Paul Simon as a broke 21-year-old making pop tunes on thrift-store gear and an old laptop. That’s a good thing, by the way.
||| Stream: “Blade Runner”