James Franco keeps himself busy within the publishing world and film industry, but on top of his many projects, the Renaissance man has added musician to the list. He’s been working with co-vocalist Tim O’Keefe on the band Daddy, and the duo’s debut album, Let Me Get What I Want —featuring bassist Andy Rourke of the Smiths — is due next spring. Listen to the track “You Are Mine” below.
“You Are Mine” is a pulsating, garage-y New Wave track with Franco showcasing his lower register as he harmonizes with O’Keefe. Like all the other songs on the LP, the track is based off two sections titled “Poems Inspired by Smiths’ Songs” from Franco’s recently published book of poetry Directing Herbert White: Poems. The poems, like his book and film Palo Alto, reflect on people he knew at Palo Alto High School, with each poem named after a Smiths song.
“High school is a time of longing for the unattainable,” Franco tells Rolling Stone. “We dream big, but we’re still too young to make anything significant happen. At least I was too immature and sensitive to be the person I wanted to be. ‘You Are Mine’ is about one teenager dreaming about another, even though they’ll never be together.”
Franco met O’Keefe long after high school, when the pair attended Rhode Island School of Design’s Digital+Media MFA program. In 2012 and 2013, they released a few EPs that are still streaming on Daddy’s SoundCloud account.
“Transforming James’ poems to songs took on its own creative process which was a new direction for me,” O’Keefe recalls. “Because the words weren’t written by me, I had to take on the character of the individual whose perspective I was singing from. ‘You Are Mine,’ like many of the songs on Let Me Get What I Want, expresses experiences that were relatable to my own high school experience, and therefore I had a lot of my own emotions to pull from.”
Along with the album, Daddy will release an hour-long film that will star Palo Alto High School students and serve as a visual companion to the LP.