Attention New York City: there’s a new band that needs to be on your radar. Cape Francis is the solo project of Kevin Henthorn, formerly of the band Stone Cold Fox. On Friday, July 14th, Henthorn debuted songs live for the first time as Cape Francis, surrounded by a backing band of five. In fact, the group had only played the songs together earlier in the week. He warned us about how much of an experiment this all would be, but there was no warning necessary. This experiment was a resounding success.

Cape Francis only has one song released on Spotify, “Iditarod,” and it really is nothing like what the group sounds like live. As Henthorn said, they didn’t have a grand piano with them. They also didn’t have the layers of production that make the single as sparse and alluring as it is on the recording, but Henthorn and his band brought it to life in a beautiful way. Henthorn’s lovely voice was the bond connecting the weight of it all. His voice reminds me of a blend between Deer Tick’s John McCauley the Antlers’s Peter Silberman. It resembles McCauley without the roughness, but rather Silberman’s softness and delicate style. He doesn’t use as much falsetto as Silberman, which adds an extra layer of conviction to his singing.

The full band provided great depth to the all of the tracks. Two guitars, bass, keys, drum and a horn plus several backing vocalists all created songs with life that I wanted to listen to again and again. I kept thinking of the band DIIV without the shoegaze during some of the songs because of the minor key sound and loose, flowing pace. Other times I recalled groups like Sigur Ros with the ambience and beautiful crescendos that blossomed into beautiful bursts of sound. Whatever different approach Henthorn tried from song to song, it all seemed to work.

All in all, Cape Francis couldn’t have made a better impression in their debut. It’s a band I not only want to keep an eye on, but one I want to see again just for the opportunity to experience those songs more. Cape Francis will be playing August 1 at Baby’s All Right as well as August 18 at C’mon Everybody.

Opening for Cape Francis was Jersey City-based singer Adam Melchor, who I’ve written about here before and seen numerous times. I’ll continue to sing Adam’s praises however often I can because I think so highly about his abilities. He has a beautiful voice and fantastic songwriting abilities. He was superb again just by himself for most of the set (and joined briefly by Cape Francis’s drummer and bass player). ┬áIt’s not a question of if, but when he will break out in my opinion. Adam plays weekly in Jersey City and other locations around the Jersey/NYC.

Check out photos of Cape Francis and Adam Melchor below.

Adam Melchor

Cape Francis

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