Artist Spotlight: Frenchy and the Punk Put the "Punk" in Steampunk

Frenchy and the Punk Put the "Punk" in Steampunk

I'm not entirely sure how to describe band Frenchy and the Punk, but if I say things like cabaret, punk, and fun, you'll probably get the idea. Their website calls them "rollicking flapper folk punk cabaret", which is about as many words as you need to describe them. I wouldn't call them punk per se, but you can definitely hear the punk influence in their sound.

There's a lot of disagreement in the community about what makes music Steampunk, but whether you think Frenchy and the Punk's sound is Steampunk or not, it definitely falls into the "things Steampunks like" category, since they sing about things like murder mysteries, silent films, and Steampunk pixies.

They also produce some really cute music videos! This one in particular features many prominent Steampunks from the Northeast, and is the aforementioned song about a murder mystery:

The band is composed of Samantha Stephenson (aka Frenchy) and Scott Helland (aka "the Punk"), and as you might guess from their music videos, they have a really great stage presence and chemistry. They frequently tour the Steampunk convention circuit, so if you get a chance to see them perform, I recommend it. It's a lot of fun!

Their music, meanwhile, has evolved a bit over the years to grow into the burgeoning Steampunk scene, or at least that's how it feels to me. Their latest album, Hey Hey Cabaret, seemed to have a more "fun" Steampunk vibe to it, with songs like "Steampunk Pixie" being a happy, upbeat number, while some of the more Steampunk songs from their earlier album Happy Madness from 2010 such as "House of Cards" and "Magician and the Dancer" are both on the darker side of the spectrum.

In fact, when I sat down and listened to Happy Madness (available to listen at Bandcamp), I was surprised at how many of the songs were dark and sultry, given the band's upbeat, fun stage shows. And that's not a bad thing, by any means; those darker songs are exceptionally well done, and serve to showcase the range of the band's talent.

Here, take a look at their brand-new music video for the song "Steampunk Pixie":

What I like about Frenchy and the Punk is that they have fun doing what they do, and you can hear it in every one of their songs, even the dark ones. Steampunk can get pretty serious from time to time, especially when the more famous Steampunk bands, such as Abney Park, take themselves pretty seriously. I don't fault them for that because there's a place for all kinds of musicians in the scene, but Frenchy and the Punk are a welcome breath of fresh air in a musical scene that can be pretty oppressively serious at times!

So if you like fun in your music and you don't take yourself too seriously, you should give Frenchy and the Punk a listen. Many of their songs are freely available on YouTube with their music videos, or on Bandcamp. If you like it, consider buying one of their albums to support an indie band in the Steampunk scene.

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Images by Frank Siciliano.


This reviewer is right on the money about their wide range as songwriters and musicians. I never miss a F&TP show when they come around.

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