Connecticut-born Johnny Frank is the true definition of a blue-collar artist. After spending long, grueling days working at a chemical processing plant, the self-described “super chill musician” dedicates even longer nights toward his upcoming solo project, JohnnyFrank Lives. In line with the goal of representing the everyday hard-working man, he wears every hat possible by playing guitar, bass guitar, drums, and self-producing the entire album. With the effort set for release later this year, Frank is previewing his work with a new single called “Throwaway”.
Despite the title, the track is anything but an afterthought. Settling into a melodic groove featuring crisp drums and catchy guitars, the song draws influence from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Mac DeMarco, and Beck. The lyrical content, however, is what makes the track all Frank’s. Touching on societal themes including “judgment, habits, culture, peer pressure, and sin,” Frank sings, “You’re a villain at best, I can see all the clues/ But you’re a maker of magic and a fountain of youth.”
Specifically, Frank uses the song to describe how people lose part of themselves to party culture. “[It] is so embedded in society that it would be difficult to choose a lifestyle path that didn’t intersect with it to some degree without alienating everyone around you,” he explains to Consequence of Sound. “I picture partying as a pay-as-you-go devil’s contract, where you ultimately decide how much debt you’re willing to accrue.”
According to Frank, part of that contract involves the creation of false expectations about yourself. “The front, the guard, the veil, whatever you want to call it, that people put up to protect themselves needs to be breached in order to give an honest assessment of someone,” he says. “But it can also go the other way, such as in a relationship where someone tricks you into seeming like a good person, only to reveal themselves over time as a bad one.”
As for the accompanying music video, it carries the same perfectionist attitude of the track along with a unique sense of humor. It tells a bizarrely captivating story in which Frank plays a “spy man” who receives a new job after powering up his ’90s era desktop computer. After doing some sleuthing and setting up an evidence board, the protagonist tracks his target down at a bowling alley. But what he finds when he confronts his target is the pure definition of mindfuck. Watch it below.
JohnnyFrank Lives isn’t the only effort Frank has set for a 2017 release; he’s also prepping a separate collaborative project called Quonnipaug with his friend Cignatta Pinatta.