The music of Asbury plays like a soundtrack to a haunted circus. It jangles and rattles with dirge-like rhythms and scratchy, distant voices. The instrumentation — glockenspiel, synths, piano — is drenched in reverb, with the wispy voice of frontman David Franklin tiptoeing delicately through the haze. Asbury's debut CD, Under the Asbury is a calming, if fantastical world, with rich character studies, sometimes haunting narratives and a touch of humor.
"I try to write words that blend story telling with touches of fantasy and personal experience," says Franklin. "I guess that's what everyone does! More specifically, I try to avoid cliche and straight forward 'love songs'."
As such, Franklin writes what he knows and lives. "Covered in Acrylic" is "a semi-fictional narration between a slightly older woman, with a husband and child, having an affair with someone, well, like me" says Franklin. "They are in a cheap hotel. It's kind of a Leonard Cohen/Jarvis Cocker ripoff."
The following track, "He's Gone Fetal," is a strange tale of a man who dies while going to the bathroom. "He turns into a gas, thinks he sees heaven, instead floats into the above air vent and has himself quite an adventure," says Franklin.
David Franklin writes and records as Asbury in Los Angeles, where he says he hangs out in the downtown art scene. His official online bio for Asbury describes it as "overweight children and the elderly, underwater, with swords, a submarine and some strange looking creature from the moon."