Local singer-songwriter releases 1st CD
For local singer-songwriter Will Franz, the release of his new CD is very, very sweet.
A release party for the up-and-coming musician’s first EP album, “Sweet Aubade,” is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5., at Rockin’ M BBQ at 1215 80th St. S.W. in Everett. The event is free. Copies of the CD will available.
The EP was recorded and produced in Nashville by Nathan Walters and Gabe Combs of Multitone Musik. Both producers were in the Christian pop band Plus One, whose debut album “The Promise” went gold.
“Sweet Aubade” has five original songs, all introspective songs about love with an indie-pop-folk sound. An “aubade” is a song or poem to greet the dawn, usually about love: It fit exactly what Franz was going for.
“I’m really excited for it to finally be released,” said Franz, who is 22. “We’ve been working on it for a year now. It feels really great to be finished. I feel pretty accomplished.”
The singer-songwriter’s style is a mix of Jack Johnson, Iron and Wine and Bright Eyes, although he’s also been called “a young Bob Dylan.”
“He has a unique texture to his voice,” Walters said. “There are a lot of great singers in this world, but if you can have a unique tone about yourself, I think it helps you stick out.”
Franz, of Mukilteo, met Walters and Combs at a Band with a Mission showcase in Nashville in 2011, where he performed an acoustic set in front of talent scouts.
After his performance, Walters approached Franz about producing a CD. He liked Franz’s “quirky” voice and the resonating lyrics to his songs. He thought his lyrics were very intimate, very honest.
“He said, ‘I think you have some talent, here, and I’d like to help you in any way I can,’” Franz said.
Months later, Franz flew back to Nashville to record in studio. In about a week, his producers had all the vocals and guitar parts they’d need from Franz. They then added in drums and bass parts.
They asked for feedback from Franz throughout the process. Even with Franz in Washington, they wanted to involve him in the creativity for and overall sound of the album.
He recorded five of nearly 40 songs he had demoed for his producers. One of those songs is the second song he ever wrote, “I Can’t.”
“It was awesome,” Franz said of the experience. “Nashville is just an awesome city for music, so to be able to record an album [there], it was just really surreal.”
Multitone Musik is now pushing his music for placement in film and TV. His producers have already set up meetings with some well-known networks. Music is a hard business to get into – no doubt – but Walters thinks Franz has a shot at it.
“We really believe in him,” Walters said. “He’s got a really unique sound to him, and I feel like that’s been resonating with other musicians here in town that we’ve been showing him to, and that makes us believe in him even more.”
Franz graduated from Kamiak High School in 2008. A year after he graduated, he tried his hand at songwriting. He has played the guitar since he was 13, but he had never sung before he wrote his first song.
Song writing comes easily to Franz – but if you had told him then that he’d be going to Nashville to record an album just three years later, he would have thought you were crazy.
“I would have never expected myself to record an album,” Franz said. “I didn’t even know I had the talent.”
Franz is now studying music theory at Shoreline Community College. Once he gets his associate’s degree, he plans to transfer to a university for a bachelor’s in music performance. His goal is to write, record and play music for a living.
He plays as many local shows as he can, including Octoberfest in Leavenworth, McKay’s Taphouse in Bellingham, Kent’s Cornucopia Days and the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival. See him weekly at Wine 101 in Harbour Pointe.
Listen to selected clips from “Sweet Aubade” and/or purchase MP3s online at www.cdbaby.com/cd/willfranz.