We’ve partnered with some of our favorite websites to bring you each scene’s best upcoming bands, diving beneath the surface to give you a glimpse of tomorrow. In this monthly check-in with our friends at Post-punk.com, we get the scoop on names like French Police and Forever Grey. (Check out last month’s column here!)
With a name like French Police, you might imagine that the Chicago-based trio led by frontman Brian Flores might sound like Interpol, or some other goth-adjacent hipster band from the aughts. But that is definitely not the case. This is music saturated in the classic darkwave sound of the '80s (spearheaded by bands like She Past Away or the more recent Twin Tribes) with an added oeuvre that is distinctly Chi-town Latinx post-punk.
French Police formed in 2019, but I only recently got to see them live—opening for She Past Away (of course) at a sold out show at Los Angeles’ the Regent. I must admit: during the performance, I was momentarily irked by their stage presence. They had that Ian McCulloch-like “Mac the Mouth” arrogance, the kind that makes you want to jump on stage to smack their sunglasses off. Who did they think they were!? At the same time, their detached style reminded me of the coldwave brilliance of Asylum Party, a legendary French band whose melancholic sound and undeniable coolness is echoed in French Police’s 2019 self-titled debut and its followup, 2021’s Haunted Castle.
The latter is a fantastic album, from the dreamy and romantic Spanish-language track “En La Noche” to the breezy, oldschool, post-punk of “Dance With Me.” On that track, the vocal and guitar hooks captivate by utilizing a deceptively simple melody and song structure.
I’m looking forward to seeing French Police again at the Substance Festival in October.