French Cassettes Release Tender-hearted New Single ‘When You Know, You Know’

French Cassettes have released the tender-hearted single, « When you know, you know » featured on their upcoming third album, Benzene, due to arrive June 7 via Tender Loving Empire. With it the San Francisco indie rock trio have announced additional live dates, bookended by festival performances tomorrow at Schellraiser and a hometown celebration at Outside Lands [all dates below].

Discussing the song’s origin, songwriter Lorenzo Scott Huerta noted, « I was listening to a lot of Bread and Barry White at the time, and this one just came out of that very quickly. I’d never paid more attention to what kind of pick I was using on my guitar; I just wanted it to have that feathery strum sound. I had just recently been helping a friend on their song and wrote what I thought was a really great melody. They didn’t want it so I used it on this one. »

Benzene was recorded at guitarist Mackenzie Bunch’s studio in Oakland, and mixed by Nick Krill (War On Drugs, Generationals). Across its 10 songs, Benzene finds French Cassettes feeling both comfortable and confident allowing them to take more risks with their songwriting and performances. The intricate guitar work on first single, « Medium Horny, » is a holdover from the demo version, and that re-potting gives it a delicate, almost antique feel. While « Megabus » smooth lilting melody and Nashville-tight rhythm section, anchored by drummer Rob Mills, takes listeners down an empty highway, surrounded by dubious strangers. Then there are songs that just do a little bit of everything: « White Noise, » a testament to Bunch’s knack for adventurous production. The song finds its warbling, dueling guitars competing with brutally oversaturated drums before exploding into cleaner rock pastures while Huerta sings about the intimate details of a voicemail message he’s grown obsessed with.

The album contains a world of references, quotes and handmade word-puzzles that only Huerta can fully unpack. Some of the band’s influences are apparent: The Magnetic Fields in the tight song construction and humor, The Beach Boys in the harmonies and experimentation. But Huerta’s lyrical aesthetic is his own, and Benzene is packed to the gills with funny, memorable one-liners (« I’m sick of bar banter, but attracted to the neon ») and punctuated by knife twists (« Sometimes you swear you barely know her »). Its themes never veer too far from separation: from partners you still want the best for; from family members who have died; from a person you’re trying hard not to be.

Benzene is the follow up to 2020’s Rolodex, which garnered local praise from the SF Chronicle who said, « the songs on their sophomore album are easily the best expression of their beaming indie-pop yet, » nationally from FLOOD and across the pond via The Line Of Best Fit, who stated, « French Cassettes invite an irresistible, wanderlust – an atmosphere glaringly attributable to the indie quartet’s Bay Area origins; a setting that figures extensively in the genesis and realization of ‘Rolodex’. » While continuing to build momentum on streaming platforms, with now over 30 million plays across all.

Tour Dates:
05/30 – McGill, NV @ Schellraiser Festival
06/12 – Sacramento, CA @ The Starlet Room
06/13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Highland Park Ebell Club
06/14 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
06/15 – Phoenix, AZ @ There Space Studios
06/17 – El Paso, TX @ Love Buzz
06/19 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
06/20 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
06/21 – Wichita, KS @ Elsewhere Festival
06/22 – Oklahoma, OK @ Resonant Head
06/23 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
06/25 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
06/26 – Denver, CO @ Skylark Lounge
06/27 – Ft. Collins, CO @ The Coast
06/28 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The DLC
06/29 – Reno, NV @ Lo Bar Social
07/24 – Boise, ID @ Alive After 5
07/25 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
07/26 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
07/27 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Tavern
07/28 – Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown
08/10 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands

Benzene Track List:

  1. Fast Held Hand
  2. Eyes Glazed Over
  3. Medium Horny
  4. Baseball Bat
  5. White Noise
  6. When you know, you know
  7. Megabus
  8. Normal Day
  9. Finally
  10. Up2You