WRUV “Exposure”: Danny & The Parts


Sophia Balunek

Danny LeFrancois of Burlington-based Danny & the Parts performing at WRUV during their “Exposure” show Feb. 8.

Keagan Lafferty, Culture Staff Writer

Old CDs are plastered across the wall of a dimly-lit music studio, guitars and amps are scattered across the floor. Listeners across Burlington turn on the radio and tune into a one-of-a-kind show.

WRUV, UVM’s radio broadcasting station, hosts “Exposure” every Wednesday from 6-8 p.m., a show during which they have local Vermont bands and artists play a live set and talk about their experiences as musicians.

On Feb. 8, senior Benjamin Roth, known to listeners as “The Purple Shaman,” introduced local musician Danny LeFrancois of Danny & The Parts to Exposure, where he played his new EP and other music and talked about his musical journey. 

Danny & The Parts is a Burlington-based Americana band with three EPs and one full-length album. They have a unique sound self-described as “original, nostalgic, atmospheric, indie, alt-country rock and more,” according to Spotify.

LeFrancois got into music at a young age, inspired by MTV and seeing his first live show, The Beach Boys, in 1985. He was in a band called Birch Lane with his brother in middle school, covering Phish songs and opening gigs for jam band Max Creek

Though he had been musically inclined for a while, LeFrancois said he didn’t start songwriting until after college, around the age of 22. 

“I never wanted to be a musician,” LeFrancois said. “I wanted to be an actor. But music just happened.”

After that, music ended up becoming a sort of addiction for him, LeFrancois said.

“It’s hard for me to stop now,” he said. “I’m in it and having fun. It’s taken me a lot of different places.”

LeFrancois said he loves the social aspect of playing, allowing him opportunities to meet people and collaborate. His recently-released EP, “Making Believe,” was a product of a collaboration with Noah Kesey, another Burlington-based artist and producer. 

The EP was recorded and produced throughout four different houses, and includes three songs: “Ben,” “Love Is All We Need” and “Making Believe.”

LeFrancois’ WRUV set was acoustic—just him, his guitar and his harmonica. The solo show was relaxing, soothing and atmospheric. It was also experimental, using a looper pedal and effects on the guitar to make it sound fuller and give more texture and dynamics. 

He played seven songs in total, and the show was interview-heavy with lots of conversation between songs.

Exposure’s listeners can call in to ask the DJ questions during the show, and one asked about LeFrancois’ songwriting process. He explained that the band’s musical arrangement usually comes from rehearsals and gigging, while the lyrics occur on his own. He also explained that he likes to write songs from other people’s perspectives or about fictional events.

“When I write a song, there has to be something that happens that’s a little extraordinary, like a thought or beat or melody,” LeFrancois said. “Most of the ideas don’t stick, but the ones that do are really special. I need to listen to the voices in my head. When I do, I write good songs.”

Another listener asked about advice for aspiring songwriters.

“Walk the streets aimlessly, a lot alone, at dusk,” LeFrancois said. “Play video games by yourself. Wear shades while doing this. Go home and write a lot of stuff on paper, then crumple them up and throw them in the wastebasket, and miss most of the time. Then, lay in the crumpled up papers and cry. Then, in the morning, look at the papers and the tears will have skewed some of the words—and there’s your song.”

As the show wrapped up, LeFrancois discussed his upcoming musical ambitions. He has two new albums in the works coming out this year. One is a full length album with Danny & The Parts, and the other is a series of new songs being recorded on tape with Cosmic the Cowboy, another Burlington-based band. 

He is constantly playing live shows around Vermont and New England, sharing his unique sound with the community, he said.

“I want meaning,” LeFrancois said. “I want to create things. I want to make the movie.”