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Jas Frank & the Intoits’ hot new single/video “So Far Away”

In the eye of an animated girl with a guitar, we see the entire globe reflected in all of its immaculate green and blue glory, and in the moments that follow this introductory image in the video for Jas Frank & the Intoits’ hot new single “So Far Away” (the second such release from their debut album The Girl from Cherry Valley), the girl is joined by a cast of characters as diverse as the world around us is. The moon graces the background with a bevy of stars beside it, creating an intriguing contrast with that opening shot of the video that isn’t all that different from what we hear in the prose that Frank is using to communicate her emotions in this track. The lyrics are plastered atop all of these visuals, keeping us engaged with the words that are stumbling into the strings and merging to yield a harmonic wall of sound that is both physically and audiologically moving. It doesn’t take much longer than fifteen seconds to become enamored with this striking melody, and after all four minutes of play have passed us by, it’s hard to deny the talent of the artists we’ve just made acquaintances with.

The instrumentation in “So Far Away,” like the video, doesn’t have a lot of excess to it at all. In comparison to “All the Highs All the Lows,” the first single from The Girl from Cherry Valley, this is more efficient and streamlined in production, with its central hook catching the light like a sparkling diamond at an expensive, high-end jewelry store, but there’s not enough polish for me to deem this as purely radio content. The rhythm is a reckless beast that is calmed only by the slow churning lyrical execution of Frank, and for the most part the guitars shy away from any sort of virtuosity that would tether them to traditional rock n’ roll standards. In other words, “So Far Away” is really as “indie” as they come, but it isn’t driven by a pretentious, egocentric singularity in its poetry that the vast majority of similar songs I’ve reviewed this spring have been horrendously burdened by.

 

 

Jas Frank & the Intoits have an exciting crossover appeal that will make them attractive to a lot of experimental rock fans who have been hungry for something new and interesting out of the underground for a minute now, and it satisfies the requirements that I personally have when I look for a contemporary indie single. Their lyrics are mature and concise, and although there are a couple of tweaks that some of us – myself included – might have made to the master mix here, I don’t find anything about the production value of “So Far Away” to be ineffective or regrettable. While they haven’t been on my radar for all that long, I think there’s a good chance that this band is going to be a serious player in 2020, and if they get the platform that they need to reach the masses, their momentum might become impossible for anyone to stop.

Mindy McCall

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