Local pop outfit Frances coats frontman Paul Hogan's artfully wistful piano-driven tunes–think Ben Folds meets Elton John–in handsome layers of orchestral finery. We like the strings, winds and glockenspiel, but what really gets us are the classy female backing vocals. Tonight the band joins local combo La Strada, whose music is fit for a subway station, but not in a bad way, tonight at Mercury Lounge. The group plays Dylanesque folk songs prettied up by accordion and strings.
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