Francis And The Lights, aka vocalist and singer-songwriter Francis Farewell Starlite, can be described only as a true maverick. With an unmistakable signature tenor, unconventional approach to songwriting and electrifying videos fuelled by a jittery, unbridled energy, the New York native has stood out as a singular and definition-defying prospect.
Besides several acclaimed EP's and singles to his name, Francis' CV also includes writing and production credits for Drake with whom he has shared the stage, production for Das Racist, recently working with 4AD signees Inc, and counting Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Chance The Rapper as fans.
He now returns with his most mature and intriguing set of songs to date, the four-track Like A Dream EP on Good Years, the London label responsible for recent forefront releases from BANKS and Lil Silva.
We've already heard the handclap punctuated, space-addled piano shuffle of 'ETC' when it floated online a few months ago. Now comes new single 'If They Don't Come Tomorrow'. Selected as Zane Lowe's Next Hype on his show last night, the song exists between the blue-eyed soul classicism of Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade Of Pale, shape-shifting, synth-inflicted contemporary production and intimately confessional lyrics. Elsewhere, 'Like A Dream' begins with a ghostly falsetto and the ominous thump of piano notes, but as it nears its end you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a bonafide FM radio staple, bringing doo-wop infused Beach Boys harmonies together with a swooning chorus to melt the iciest of hearts. 'Betting On Us' once again demonstrates the unique conviction of Francis' voice, as bittersweet, dulcet verses soar into an uplifting romantic call to arms.
With its 4 tracks traversing intelligent piano pop, contemporary r&b and outsider singer-songwriter traditions, the result is idiosyncratic yet timeless-feeling pop, heralding a welcomed and ever-intriguing return from this special artist.
Like A Dream EP Track listing:
1. Like A Dream
2. If They Don't Come Tomorrow
3. Betting On Us
Listen to 'If They Don't Come Tomorrow' here:
The 2016 Republican candidate is already thinking ahead