It’s said Frenchy and the Punk is better than Prozac. This quirky Hudson Valley NY-based duo have made an art form of sparking the spirit. Forever squirming from genre labeling like the proverbial cat attempting to free itself from an overly attentive human, this commitment-phobic pair prefer to call themselves ‘acoustic alternative post-punk’ with elements of cabaret and folk rock. Using their unconventional delivery to create a wall of sound, the music charges the feel-good battery of any listener not resistant to feeling good. Touring across the US and in Europe since 2005, they will be releasing their 6th CD, Hooray Beret, on April 5, 2019.
Bi-lingual French-born Siouxsie-esque singer Samantha Stephenson writes cheeky, clever lyrics blessed with humble depth that are universal yet distinctly from a feminine perspective.
At times dark and at times euphoric, the music is created by live looping guitarist and veteran of the punk scene Scott Helland, who started as the bass player and co-founder of Deep Wound — the hardcore band with J Mascis and Lou Barlow (Dinosaur jr.) — and the bassist in Outpatients, another seminal band of the early ‘80s New England scene. After leaving the Punk scene in the mid 90s, Helland began a solo project writing instrumental soundscapes for acoustic guitar – “yet another accomplished ex-punk who has made the striking transition to atmospheric soundtracks” (Jack Rabid, Big Takeover).
A fateful day in New York City 1998 when Helland and Stephenson’s paths crossed began their artistic collaboration that ultimately led to Frenchy and the Punk. Today, armed with his acoustic-electric hybrid Godin multiac guitar and an array of pedals, Helland creates his very own sound that defines Frenchy and the Punk – “Beautifully evolved from the punk days” (Bill Dautremont-Smith WDIY-NPR affiliate). Dipping into rock, middle eastern and Spanish guitar styles — with a penchant for insanely catchy riffs that, to the untrained ear, disguise his love for the heavier side of rock — Helland’s melodies are infectious. Stephenson, whose past is peppered with piano, voice and dance —everything from ballet to hip hop— belts out strong girl power anthems and croons soft sultry ballads both in English and her mother tongue, French. Additionally, she has the precision of a metronome with her creative and quirky percussive accents. Named one of the “Top 25 Dynamic Duos” by Yahoo Music Blog, the chemistry between the two is undeniable and their stage presence and fiery performances bring an added deliciousness to their music.
DIY to a fault, they have largely flourished in the small but hugely loyal scenes of Cabaret, Mythic and Steampunk, however, “this (Batfrog) has some serious wings to fly beyond the parameters of steampunk and into the stereo systems of anyone who loves quality folk punk” (Ron Hart, Chronogram/Bonjour Batfrog Review) With the new CD, Hooray Beret (April 2019) they prove, once again, they could fly beyond those parameters.
Frenchy and the Punk's Music is featured on:
Dance Moms (Kendall's dance Solo)
"Top 25 Duos in the US" by Yahoo Music Blog