Renowned British producer Fran Ashcroft has announced his forthcoming album ‘The Songs That Never Were’, to be released on February 23 via Think Like a Key Music. While only his sophomore album as a solo artist, Ashcroft’s name stands behind dozens of other albums that have come to grace the music plane over the past few decades. Ahead of this, he presents the lead track ‘Waiting For The Britpop Revival’, a 2-track offering with a traditional A-side and B-side.

Longtime producer for artists big and small, and formerly of British power-pop trailblazers The Monos, Fran Ashcroft has recorded in some of the world’s most renowned studios and with some iconic names, including Damon Albarn (Blur), Abbey Road Studios, Thunderbirds Are Go!, PRT Records and Studios, Spin Jupiter Spin (Dandy Warhols), , Darling Nikkie (Lords of Acid) Big Fish Music in Japan, and Fruits Der Mer Records, to mention a few.

A treasure trove of recordings that defies time, Ashcroft describes this album as “a bridge across time” and “a collaboration between myself and me of fifty years ago”, made possible by two broken tape recorders and a little bit of AI technology. Here, he ingeniously constructs a sonic viaduct spanning 50 years to allow something novel to take shape amidst the echoes of his past – one where old and new harmonize in a truly innovative yet delightfully vintage experience.

“I’ve never made a record quite like this one. Nobody has. it was like building a bridge of time between my present day self and me from 50 years ago. The song I heard in my head at 5 a.m. that morning reminded me of one I’d written many years before, which I was never quite happy with. I thought, you could almost put this new tune right over it. So I dug the old tape out of the archives to see if I was right. And I was – the chords were the same, and it was even in the same key! If I could only remove and replace the vocals on the old mono recording, it would be an entirely new song,” says Fran Ashcroft.

“Were there other songs that could be treated in a similar way? Of course there were! I expected these new recordings to be all be about using AI technology – but that was just a convenient tool, like any other. But this actually turned out to be a collaboration between my present-day self and me from 50 years ago – like some kind of bridge of time had been built between us. It sounds weird, I know – here, each song, whether an old recording or a new idea, was developed and transformed into something completely different from what it was to begin with – as if I were working with a co-writer and a quite strange one at times. But music exists outside of time and this, I think, makes this record what it is.”

This new album shows Ashcroft to be an artist in his own right, following up his self-recorded, written and performed album ‘A Tour Of British Duckponds’, released in 2023. Ashcroft also recently added author to his credits, publishing ‘The Analogue Approach to Digital Recording’ last year via the Crowood Press. As a record producer, he is best known for his less-is-more approach to recording, using the minimum number of microphones and tracks to get the best sound.

From the tender age of 8, he knew he wanted to make records. After initial encouragement from Apple Records, he first stepped inside a recording studio in 1973, with a band comprising electric guitar, drums and 2 cellists. This led to securing a publishing deal and forming one of the first British powerpop bands, The Monos, who ultimately endured the inevitable major label traumas. After this, he was able to turn his attention towards producing records, which he has done ever since.

As of February 6, ‘Waiting for the Britpop Revival’ will be available digitally from online music platforms. The album ‘The Songs That Never Were’ will be released on February 23, both digitally (as MP3, WAV or FLAC) and on 350g CD with a glossy 6-panel digisleeve. It can be pre-ordered directly from the label.

1 Waiting for the Britpop Revival 3:04
2 High Window 3:21
3 Suddenly 2:30
4 Cabdriver 3:10
5 Strange Things 4:23
6 Carnival 3:18
7 Greater of the Evils 3:51
8 I Believe In You 1:53
9 Compass 4:57
10 High Wind Oh 1:22
11 The Songs That Never Were 4:25
12 Still Waiting for the Britpop Revival 0:31

Music and lyrics written and arranged by Fran Ashcroft
Recorded, produced, mixed & mastered by Fran Ashcroft
Album / single outer sleeve photos by John Drazek
B&W inner sleeve photos by Gez Prior and Min Nolan
Publicity by Shameless Promotion PR
Artist photos by Rob Clarke