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FRANKE ENE

Franke Ene

No Longer

    “No Longer is a suite of six absorbing, patient reveries on conflicted concupiscence and encroaching darkness by Berkeley songwriter Frank Ene, who composed the material in a period of solitude following the demise of his noise-pop group Pure Bliss. Ene abstained from socializing to write the songs, venturing outside mostly to work in the basement of a frame-shop or observe students on the nearby UC Berkeley campus, vintage self-help paperbacks stuffed in his pockets.

    When it came time to record, he opted to play nearly every instrument himself. ‘Some songs are affirmations,’ he said. ‘The saddest ones I can’t remember writing, as if someone entered my mind and body in a really brutal way.’ “Suffused with an atmosphere of slow-simmering tension, No Longer traffics in understated grooves reminiscent of latter-era Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, with Ene’s rich voice somehow sounding at once wispy and full-bodied.

    ‘Flesh In The Womb,’ one of the songs to feature songwriter and Fresh & Onlys guitarist Wymond Miles, channels the lasciviousness of Serge Gainsbourg as well as the beguiling sparseness of Dean Blunt. The lyrics to ‘Housing Alcove,’ a crushing meditation on childhood trauma, reveal competing, interconnected feelings of vulnerability and ambition (a duality captured by the evocative album art). A dynamic, repeat listen, No Longer stands among the most musically arresting and emotionally contoured Bay Area solo debuts in recent memory.” —Sam Lefebvre


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