MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of L.C. Franke’s “Wish The World” Video

Sometimes you must embrace your inner child to salvage your sanity. That’s sort of the way it happened for L.C. Franke. As Jeff Klein, he’d made waves in Austin as a talented singer/songwriter, taking up with the Twilight Singers before starting his own project, My Jerusalem. But by 2017, he’d lost his way. Frazzled and aimless, he sought solace in the bebop and big-band sounds he’d discovered in his grandmother’s record collection as a kid growing up in New York. Klein has since taken it a few steps further, coopting her name (Elsie Franke) and reinventing himself as a slightly disheveled post-millennial crooner with a 5 o’clock shadow and a tantalizing trace of irony.

Granted, he’s had some help. After plenty of pandemic-induced soul-searching, Franke accepted a commission from award-winning dancer Melissa Toogood to compose the score for her performance with the Boston Ballet. He bought a Mellotron and reached out to John Mills, a professor of jazz studies at the University of Texas with connections to Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles. Somewhere along the way, Franke also wrote “You And Me And Us Against The World,” which provided the creative jolt that led to his debut LP, Still In Bloom (Side Hussle), available July 19.

Franke had this to say about new single “Wish The World” and its companion video: “I was spending a weekend in Nashville, and I’d yet to see two of my favorite people, Bill Reynolds (Band Of Horses, Blue Rags) and Matthew Ryan. I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and we met up at Bill’s studio, Fleetwood Shack, for an afternoon hang. You know how it goes—get a few musicians in a room with a bunch of gear, and someone’s bound to start playing around. After about an hour, we’d written this heady James Bond-meets-Julie London song. It was beautiful, actually.

“I got a Facebook message from Dan Brown, an old acquaintance I hadn’t seen in about 20 years. It said, ‘I love the new music I’m hearing. We should make a video.’ The timing was impeccable, as I’d just been talking about making a video for ‘Wish The World’—and Dan has a successful production house and a few Emmys. I met him for coffee, and we randomly started talking about films like Sunset Boulevard, D.O.A. and Where The Sidewalk Ends—and how ‘Wish The World’ would make a perfect noir soundtrack. We shot the video over three days around Austin. We worked on the scenes where I get strangled and drowned the most—and I was starting to wonder if that was just for everyone’s entertainment. The real star though is that beautiful ’89 Cadillac Brougham.”

We’re proud to premiere L.C. Franke’s “Wish The World” video.

—Hobart Rowland