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The second major project from former Poundcake songwriter Clayton Scoble, Francine came together in Boston in late 1997. Building on the foundation of Scoble's inherent pop tendencies, Francine marks a slight deviation in the formula, displaying as much of an affection for clever wordplay and good old indie rock aesthetics as for catchy tunes and guitar-driven pop.
After the dissolution of Poundcake, Scoble began floating demos around, eager to get a working act going with as little downtime as possible. The demos quickly attracted local drummer Steve Scully, who'd played with both Merrie Amsterburg and Jen Trynin, followed by bassist Sean Connelly (also of Astroslut) and guitarist Albert Gualtieri. The completed lineup spent some time refining demos and rehearsing. In the summer of 2000, Francine released the five-song Pop Warner EP on Q Division Records, former home of Scoble's Poundcake. This was quickly followed up in the fall of that year with the debut full-length Forty on a Fall Day.
Garnering favorable press locally, but suffering somewhat from a lack of national exposure, Francine did not tour extensively in support of Forty on a Fall Day, preferring to allow the record alone to attract whatever attention might come their way.