Review: Frande’s Evidence puts different forms of love under the magnifying glass

Frande comprise (from left) Wu Meng-yen, Chiang Chen-yu and Fran.
Frande comprise (from left) Wu Meng-yen, Chiang Chen-yu and Fran.PHOTO: FRANDE.MUSIC/FACEBOOK

Taiwanese band Frande's third album offers more laidback, beguiling indie pop under the arch Chinese title of Why Does It Resemble A Love Story, I Was Clearly Reading A Detective Novel.

On their Facebook page, they describe their genre of music as "soft things but not that soft; crazy things but not that much".

Over the unhurried beats on electro-pop opener All You Need To Do Is Love Me, female lead singer Fran's voice glimmers as she protests lightly: "I haven't even had time to love you/Why would I harm you".

The band line-up also includes guitarist Chiang Chen-yu and drummer Wu Meng-yen.

Love is a tussle on I Hate You, I Love You as Fran and Taiwanese singer-rapper DJ Didilong circle each other: "Soon, I won't be able to tell right from wrong/We've fought over this so many times." But there is a solution to melting their cold war: "We just need an embrace."

Love, in its different forms, is put under the magnifying glass here.




    Fusion Bomb

    4/5 stars

It can be sweetness and light, and on Until Death Do..., it is a powerful force as well: "Like to hear you say 'I love you'/Drive away all grievances/ Together, with you together."

Love is most tender on the lullaby-like My Darling Lamb, which is inspired by the ploy of counting sheep to battle insomnia ("Can't sleep, I can't sleep/Waiting for a 'goodnight' from you/Won't tie, won't tie you down/Want you to be free"). Instead of romantic love, it is about the love for a child as Fran sings: "Want to kiss your face at every age."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2017, with the headline 'Exploring love through laidback indie pop'. Print Edition | Subscribe