Melancholic ethereal vocals reminiscent of Sharon Van Etten, with wandering guitar picks and Courtney Barnett-esque bass provide an arresting balance as the Irish songwriter’s debut album opens.
The unexpected introduction of a late 60s psychedelic sound, the chord progressions with the bend of 7ths, floating flute and jagged touch of the strings over the top lifts the mood.
Themes of a woman finding herself at a crossroads in life, there is a longing for more agency, but with resigned understanding that we don’t have it.
In 2020, it surely reflects the mood of a generation being tossed on a wave, thoughtfully expressing something bigger, as in “Tired of being human”, or the existential “Here in the dark”.
On “Less is More”, the odd, other worldly depth of Frances’s voice has definite overtures to Nico. In “Libra” we hear influences of Sandy Denny and Jefferson Airplane.
Though moods change and counter-change, a constant is the rolling feeling of percussion, the echo and flourish of guitar, the ordered chaos of orchestral instruments combining yet holding their own.
It’s a sweet Sunday afternoon album that surprises as it washes over you, like a feeling of watching clouds shifting before you notice.