Always Ascending

Album: Always Ascending (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • The lead single and title track from Franz Ferdinand's fifth studio album, "Always Ascending" is the first new music to be heard from the band since the recruitment of guitarist Dino Bardot and keyboardist Julian Corrie. The pair joined the group shortly after the departure of Nick McCarthy.
  • The song was produced by Philippe Zdar, one-half of French synthpop/house duo Cassius who also frequently works with French band Phoenix. Zdar's influence can be seen in the track's synth-based instrumentation, which is a departure from Franz Ferdinand's more guitar-driven roots.

    "In terms of the sound, the song is quite representative of the whole record," Kapranos told NME. "This one sounds quite different from our previous records - it's a bit wider and less of a 'straight up guitar' album."
  • Frontman Alex Kapranos told ABC Radio that the album and its title track reflected the state of the band in 2018.

    "The course of the song ['Always Ascending'], the way it goes, you kind of set the scene with one world, and then make a transition to a completely different universe," he explained. "It feels you're taken from one place to another. I guess that's what we're doing with the band and the whole new album."

    "We've gone from a previous decade to a new decade, ascended from one to the other," Kapranos continued. "So it seems like a pretty good metaphor for what we wanted to do."
  • Alex Kapranos explained to Mojo magazine that the Always Ascending album name is a statement of intent. He said:

    "We didn't write it that way but when we were choosing the album title, it summed up our mentality. After a decade of the band, we had a choice, to continue living in that decade and repeat ourselves, or to leave it behind. Nick's leaving was a great gift, actually, and combined with (Sparks collaboration) FFS, where our roles were jumbled up - I was co-writing with Ron Mael! - it meant things had to change. I think of Always Ascending as our second first album."

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