Top Tracks: Alex Francis – If I Can’t Have You

Glorious sun is beaming down, ice creams and cold beers are at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and festival season will soon be kicking off in earnest – summer is officially here! Arguably our first proper summer with Covid in the rearview mirror. All we’re missing to complete the picture is that “song of the summer” to soundtrack the good times ahead. May I submit for your consideration ‘If I Can’t Have You’ from Belwood favourite Alex Francis. This wonderfully soulful outing from the Hertfordshire based singer/songwriter is all about the joyous release of realising what truly matters, throwing your fears aside and putting yourself out there in the pursuit of happiness. Exactly the vibe we’re looking for in our first summer of freedom. Residing at the perfect intersect between grit and polish, ‘If I Can’t Have You’ captures the timeless roots rock spirit of Muscle Shoals in its feel-good groove, and its sublime production ensures that every facet of the sunkissed arrangement and every word of Alex’s soulful vocals lands with maximum impact.

Top Tracks: Alex Francis – Run

“Wishing that I had you here, tired of talking via satellite” – a very familiar feeling in 2020. Being apart from friends and family has been the worst part of quarantine. Such a sense of isolation and detachment from all you hold dear is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. To willingly embrace such separation would therefore be a pretty crazy thing to do, but then love makes people do crazy things. ‘Run’, the new single from the brilliant Alex Francis, is all about life in a long distance relationship, and just how far people will go for the chance that it may all work out in the end. While the track shines thanks to Alex’s soulful vocals, and a soft echoey guitar solo that serves to emphasise the distance and disconnect, what really steals the show here is the lyrics. Alex manages to find all the right words to capture many different facets of the plight felt by long distance lovers. The fear that comes with leaving yourself so open and vulnerable, and the constant longing for all the myriad moments of closeness that you’re forever missing out on. Everyone telling you that it will never work, even that nagging voice in the back of your head, but ultimately fighting with all you’ve got to beat the odds and prove the world wrong, because deep in your heart you know that it’s a love worth fighting for.

Top Tracks: Alex Francis – Free

After being blown away by his track ‘All I’ve Got‘ last year, the incredible Alex Francis is back. His new single ‘Free’ shows a different, more soulful side to him, as it shares its message about not letting doubts hold you back from living the life you want. The lush instrumentation and flawless production brings this song to a whole other level. The superb bass tone really drives the song forward and the little tripped out R&B flourishes make the track shimmer like heat haze on the horizon on some golden summer’s day. There’s a lot of new elements to be found here, but it stays the same where it really counts. ‘Free’ still boasts Alex’s wonderfully powerful and versatile voice. and the same masterful hooks that you could just sit and listen to for hours. Slick, infectious and effortlessly cool, after this track I almost get the impression that Alex Francis can do no wrong.

Top Tracks: Alex Francis – All I’ve Got

Music isn’t an exact science, there’s no ready-made formula for success. People can spend their lives working to make a hit, and sometimes, as with ‘All I’ve Got’, all the elements can come together as if by magic to create something truly compelling and timeless. This track, taken from his upcoming EP A Stronger Love out 1st December, really lets his gritty vocals steal the spotlight in its more subdued, bluesy moments, before kicking into full-blown anthemic territory in the killer chorus. Talking about how we need to take a step back from this material world and focus on the people who really matter, the lyrics keep to the same high standard set by the music. This really is up there with some of the best work that any modern singer/songwriters I’ve heard have to offer.