Tours: Franz Nicolay (Europe)

Franz NicolayBrooklyn based multi instrumentalist Franz Nicolay is heading on tour over in Europe later this July.  He continues to support his newest record, To Us, The Beautiful, which dropped earlier this week via Xtra Mile Recordings (UK) /Silver Sprocket (US). The record is the first new material since 2012’s Do The Struggle and the title is an excerpt from a traditional Ukranian toast “To us the beautiful, and to those who disagree, may their eyes fall out.

Tour dates are below.

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Franz Nicolay Streams New Album

Franz NicolayBrooklyn based multi instrumentalist Franz Nicolay is streaming his new record, To Us, The Beautiful, which dropped earlier this week via Xtra Mile Recordings (UK) /Silver Sprocket (US). The record is the first new material since 2012’s Do The Struggle and the title is an excerpt from a traditional Ukranian toast “To us the beautiful, and to those who disagree, may their eyes fall out.

LIsten to the full disc here.

Franz Nicolay Announces New Album, Streams ‘Marfa Lights’

Franz NicolayBrooklyn based multi instrumentalist Franz Nicolay has announced his new record, To Us, The Beautiful will be released on January 19th via Xtra Mile Recordings. The record is the first new material since 2012’s Do The Struggle and the title is an excerpt from a traditional Ukranian toast ““To us the beautiful, and to those who disagree, may their eyes fall out” .

Ahead of the release (which can be pre-ordered here), a stream of Marfa Lights is available, and you can check out the cover art and track list below.

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Franz Nicolay Details New Record, Streams New Song

Franz NicolayBrooklyn’s genre jumping multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay has announced his new record, To Us, The Beautiful is due for release on January 19th via Xtra Mile Recordings. The album is the follow up to 2012’s Do The Struggle and sees Franz assembling an ensemble cast including Andrew Seward of Against Me! on bass, Ara Babajian of Leftover Crack on drums, guitarist Yoni Gordon and  J. Robbins of Jawbox tasked with producing.

Ahead of the release, Franz Nicolay is offering a preview of the song Marfa Lights, stream it here.



Franz Nicolay Announces New Full Length

Franz NicolayFranz Nicolay has announced details for a brand new full-length album.  The disc will be titled To Us, The Beautiful!  and is due out spring 2014.

The album follows Nicolay’s 2012 full length, Do The Struggle.


New Franz Nicolay Single + UK Tour

Franz NicolayBrooklyn based multi instrumentalist Franz Nicolay will release his new single, Hearts of Boston on November 25th. It is taken from his 3rd full length Do the Struggle which was released back in August of this year via Xtra Mile Recordings. For the single Franz worked with oktopus ( of NJ hip hop outfit Dalek) which helped take his americana stylings to a new level. 

Franz is also on tour across the UK this November with The Cut Ups (who will also act as his backing band) full dates, along with the music video, are available below.

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Tour: Franz Nicolay / The Cut Ups

FranzNew York based multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay (and label mate of Frank Turner on Xtra Mile Recordings) is heading out for a UK tour in November alongside Exeter punk band The Cut Ups. He will also be contributing by playing keyboards for themwhile they will reciprocate during his sets.

Full tour dates below:

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Franz Nicolay - St. Sebastian of the Short Stage

Franz Nicolay

St. Sebastian of the Short Stage

Team Science Records

Rating: 3.5/5




Franz Nicolay is the enigmatic, mustached (yes, I had to mention the famed stache) keyboard player in The Hold Steady who also plays in The World/Inferno Friendship Society; but it doesn’t seem like that’s quite enough for him. So following up his critically acclaimed solo debut, Major General (which, unfortunately, I haven’t heard yet), Nicolay has returned with a four song, ten inch EP on Team Science Records entitled St. Sebastian of the Short Stage; and it’s an EP that, while awesome, does fall short near the end.

The EP kicks off with The Fun Side which features two songs: New England and The Ballad of Hollis Wadsworth Mason Jr and is, appropriately, incredibly fun. New England is a high energy cover of the song by John Richman with help from The Dresden Dolls. It’s a wildly heartwarming song that captives the listener through the upbeat and energetic melody delivered through the use of claps, accordion, piano and three layered and enthusiastic vocalists. It may be filled with slightly immature lyrics but try not to smile as they sing “Dum-de-dum-de-dum-dum-da-dum-day, Ohhhh New England!” – it’s simply impossible and gives the song a certain undeniable charm.

The second track on The Fun Side is equally as fun, although not quite as energetic. A song based on the character of Hollis Mason (the original Nite Owl) from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ legendary graphic novel WatchmenThe Ballad of Hollis Wadsworth Mason Jr sees Nicolay expand his instrumental repertoire and showcase his vocals much more prominently than the opening track. His vocals have a sense of quivering honesty and vulnerability embedded within them that is only further cemented by the the soaring trumpet; and while it’s not as immediately hitting as New EnglandThe Ballad is a perfect compliment to it and caps off The Fun Side nicely.

The flip side of St. Sebastian is a stark contrast to The Fun Side and is titled, appropriately, The Depressing Side. The two songs – which are pretty decent in their own right – seem to fall short when compared to the first side. When The War Came is a four and a half minute song that has some interesting lyrics sung by a very vulnerable Nicolay but rarely grabs the attention that it deserves; it falls into the background all too often thanks in part to its sparse instrumentation whereas I Just Want To Love sounds like a mix between Matthew Good and Dallas Green. A leftover track from 2001 when Nicolay was working an IT-job, I Just Want To Love is an acoustic diddy with echoey and distant vocals and generic lyrics that only survive because he calls them generic right after he sings them in a nice tongue-in-cheek fashion.

As a complete EP, St. Sebastian is a little lopsided but it remains an entertaining listen and one that can be replayed many, many times; still, The Fun Side is by far the better side.

Franz Nicolay - Do The Struggle

Franz Nicolay

Do The Struggle

Sabot Productions

Rating: 4/5




One of punk’s most famous multi-instrumentalists, Franzy Nicolay, brings us an multi-genre solo album in this year’s Do the Struggle. Though this album does transcend genres, the entire production is by far more consistent here than in any of his previous solo works. The album’s electronic and ambient sound is an interesting shift from Nicolay’s other gritty folk releases. This new sound is most apparent in songs like Joy, which is almost reminiscent of an Alex Clare song, and the title track Do the Struggle. Just as jarring as Nicolay’s songs themselves, the album features short instrumental clips every other track, carrying this melodic and haunting tone throughout the entirety of the album.

The introduction of more electronic-laden tracks does not leave us without the folk-heavy songs we have learned to expect from Franz Nicolay, however. Songs like Live Free, Take No Prisoners (ft. Emily Brodsky), and Migration of the Cuckoo are banjo and slide-guitar soaked, with just enough production value to fit with the rest of the album.

The biggest returning factor of this album though, like any other Franz Nicolay release, is his affinity for great storytelling and lyricism. “Betty Botter bought a bottle of bitters from the bar/ Major Matt, he mixed his mild martinis in a jar.” , the opening lines from Hearts of Boston, my favorite track, offers interesting alliteration and the beginning of an unbroken rhyme scheme that continues throughout the song.Did Your Broken Heart Make You Who You Are? Appropriately tells a heart-breaking story of the struggles of past relationships affecting current relationships, as Nicolay sings, “You are capable of anything, aren’t you?/ You learned it from someone/ Someone learned it from you”. Each song on the album delivers thought-provoking lyrics more enjoyable than the last.

As a fan of Franz Nicolay, Do the Struggle did take some getting used to. However, after multiple listens, Nicolay’s overwhelmingly heartfelt lyrics and addicting hooks make this album worth a purchase, and will fit well in any folk-lover’s collection willing to give Nicolay’s experimentation a chance.

Franz Nicolay And Frank Turner Sing Noël Coward

Franz NicolayMulti-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay will be teaming up with English folk-punk Frank Turner and Asbestos Records to make the first of a series of Asbestos 7″ splits where each artist will cover a song by a third artist. Turner and Nicolay will be performing songs by English songwriter/playwrite/composer Sir Noël Peirce Coward

The 7″ is available now for pre-order here and will be pressed in blak as well as limited edition red and blue vinyl. Asbestos hope to release it in October.

Video: Franz Nicolay – Did Your Broken Heart Make You Who You Are

Franz NicolayMulti-instrumentalist and solo artist Franz Nicolay (who previously played in acts such as Against Me!, The Hold Steady and World/Inferno Friendship Society), has released a new music video for his solo track “Did Your Broken Heart Make You Who You Are.” 

The video, which was premiered by rocksound, can be seen below.

The track comes from his latest album, Do The Struggle, that was released on August 6th.

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Franz Nocolay Signs With Xtra Mile Records; Plans New Full Length

Franz Nicolay has announced that he has signed on with Xtra Mile Records.  Nicolay plans to release his brand new third solo effort, Do the Struggle, on July 30, 2012.  A vinyl edition is expected in parallel courtesy Sabot Productions.

Album art and track listing can be found below.

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Tours: Franz Nicolay

Everyone’s favourite mustachioed musician Franz Nicolay has announced a string of tour dates in March, April, and May.  Nicolay continues to support Luck & Courage, released back in 2010. 

Dates can be found below.

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Franz Nicolay Switchboard Sessions

Franz Nicolay (formerly of World/Inferno Friendship Society and The Hold Steady and currenly touring with Against Me!) recently took part in the Switchboard Sessions which features songs and interviews recorded with musicians over the telephone.

For his session, Nicolay recorded “This is Not a Pipe” from his 2010 Team Science release Luck and Courage and a cover of Leatherface’sNot Superstitious.”

You can listen to it here.

Tours: Jack Terricloth (World/Infernofriendship Society), Franz Nicolay, Dave Hause (Loved Ones)

Here’s an interesting tour announcement worth putting on the calendar. The World/Inferno Friendship Society frontman Jack Terricloth and is teaming up with soloist Franz Nicolay (of former Hold Steady fame also a member of Terricloth’s troupe, who tours with Against Me! on the side), and The Loved Ones’ frontman Dave Hause.  The trio will hit the road in the new year for eleven dates in mid-January over in the UK.

Dates can be found below.

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Franz Nicolay Streaming Luck And Courage

Punk News has launched a stream of Franz Nicolay‘s sophomore solo effort, Luck And Courage.  The album is set for an October 12, 2010 release via Team Science Records, although digital copies were released to retailers in late September.  The mustache sporting soloist departed from his long time band The Hold Steady earlier this year and joined up with Against Me! as a permanent touring member.

Stream Nicolay’s latest offering here.


Franz Nicolay To Tour To The FEST And More

Once Franz Nicolay returns from his time on the road with Against Me! he has announced that it will be time for him to hit the road again, only this time all on his own.  Nicolay will embark on a solo tour this Sunday, September 26, 2010 and will run into early December, and includes a brief stop at this year’s FEST 9.

While on the road Nicolay will also release his sophomore solo full length, Luck & Courage, due out October 12, 2010 on CD/Digital/vinyl between Team Science Records and Sabot Productions.

Tour dates can be found below.

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The Fest 9 Update

The Fest 9We all know Gainesville’s annual The Fest is just around the corner, and to get you even more excited for it, they have just updated with more bands and two more venues for this incredible music Festival. One new venue added is former Against Me! drummer Warren Oakes’ mexican restaurant, Boca Fiesta.

Some of the newly confirmed bands are Florida’s own Fake Problems, major touring artist Franz Nicolay, Athens’ power-pop group Hot New Mexicans amongst many more including Paint It Black, Paul Baribeau,  1994!, Aficionado, City of Ships, La Dispute, Living With Lions, The Takers (possible final show), Assassinate the Scientist, 10-4 Eleanor, Bent Left, Big Soda, Dickkicker, Dolarhyde, Douglas Shields and the X Factors, Dude Jams, Dukes of Hillsborough, Former Thieves, Giuseppe, Go Rydell, Gretski, Grids, Heavy Petty (A Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Tribute), Jared Grabb, Koji, Lindsey Mills, Little League, Mixtapes, Noise by Numbers, One Win Choice, Over Stars and Gutters, Pianos Become The Teeth, Punch, Rock Creek Jug Band, Rumspringer, Scum of the Earth, Shared Arms, Sister Kisser, Sleeping Spiders, Textbook Committee (Guided By Voices Tribute), The Anchor, The Bombpops, Timeshares, Toby Foster, Too Many Daves, Vacation Bible School, Young///Savages, Devout, Backpocket, Mauser, Divided Heaven, SMN, The Outsiders, and Towers of Hanoi.

You can find the entire Fest line up here. You can also buy your Fest 9 tickets here.