You might recognize Fran Healy as the singer of Scottish band Travis, who, along with Coldplay, picked up the mantle for thoughtful Brit-rock after that wacky genre "Britpop" died in the late '90s. Healy is a fantastic songwriter who's never been hemmed in by genre tags: His influences certainly stretch back to the '60s and '70s, which he notes here with a nod to Joni Mitchell. Travis had previously covered Mitchell's "River"--a sad song about spending Christmastime somewhere sunny--but here, Healy does it up acoustic style, and tells us a story about a deceptive teacher. Healy's first solo album, Wreckorder, features guest spots from Neko Case and Paul McCartney, who Healy told us used "the bass" to do his part.
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