The Muster Point Project’s Indie Pop New Single ‘Don’t Give Me Anything’ Delivers a Sonic Journey Through Ambition’s Pitfalls

The new indie pop single “Don’t Give Me Anything” from The Muster Point Project (TMPP) is a song about owning up to the pitfalls of ambition. A doggedly persistent drum beat backs up energetic guitar riffs that complement keyboards whose melodies drive us through the sounds of different eras, from 1960s rock to the best of ’80s and mid-aughts indie pop.

TMPP is the creation of singer-songwriter Kevin Franco who, in 40 years of playing music, has cultivated diverse musical influences and a hunger for experimentation with instruments including mandolin, horns, sikus and quena, as well as guitar and percussive instruments. When a certain specialized sound is required, Franco often enlists other professional musicians, and “Don’t Give Me Anything” features Sterling Laws (Liz Phair, Lo Moon, War on Drugs, Olivia Rodrigo) on percussion, Robin Hatch, formerly of the Rural Alberta Advantage (Our Lady Peace, Porno For Pyros) on keys, and Odighizuwa Patience with backing vocals, while Franco covers the guitar, bass, mandolin, vibraslap, vocals and lyrics. The song was produced by Darryll McFadyen, who has worked with Belle and Sebastian, Simple Minds, Trevor Horn and others.

The single, from an album titled It Was Here He Received His Only Formal Education, to come in November 2024, mines Franco’s experiences working in the formidable tech industry and the conflicting set of egos he encountered in building a business that ultimately did not succeed. It wasn’t for lack of trying, and it wasn’t without its bright spots: as a pioneer in transmedia publishing, Franco worked with novelists, musicians, actors, and social media influencers to create story experiences under the brand of One Child, winning awards from the Digital Book Awards along the way.

In the song, four perspectives—which Franco calls the Lawyer, the Accountant, the Investor, and the Entrepreneur—add up to the “general sentiment put forth in the song name and final lyric, ‘I just wanna be alone,’” Franco says. “It also sums up my feelings as the one who failed so painfully hard while fully understanding the risks before proceeding, it’s mine to own.”

And while accepting personal responsibility is important for Franco, the story also critiques glossy showmanship and the randomness of “success” in the corporate world: “Big words, you think you’re the tops / You even fool some with your malaprops / Well you think you’re clever ‘cause you pull in some dough / You’re just the same old clown that we’ve all known.” The music video uses clips from a 1963 public domain film in which a crew of teens wearing monkey masks ride bikes through town, while a lone monkey-teen trails behind them on foot. Lyrically, “Don’t Give Me Anything” ends in a raw state of disillusionment, and musically it wraps up with a high-key tornado of sound, going along with the video’s concluding psychedelic flashes of light.