Top Tracks: Francesca Louise – The Sea

They say that all roads lead to Rome. A vast network spanning a continent and beyond, with the Eternal City at its heart. It’s the perfect recipe for a melting pot of lost souls, who have all hit the road hoping to understand themselves and find meaning. It seems that Belwood favourite Francesca Louise is just such a soul. Her latest single ‘The Sea’ is a wistful reflection on her time spent there. The strangers that left their mark on her heart and became something far more, the freedom of walking the winding roads of the seven hills beneath the warm summer sun. The result is a blissful pastoral escape; the feather-light folk guitar, elegant swell of strings, and of course Francesca’s delightfully dreamy vocals, all making this serene single as captivating as it is comforting. All roads lead to Rome, but a road goes both ways, and more often than not what waits at the other end is the sea. People would carry the spirit of the city with them as far as their feet would carry them. Francesca’s stunning new song will stay with you every bit as far, offering a window into a place, a memory, and of freedom and serenity, whenever you may need it.

Top Tracks: Francesca Louise – Odyssey

When we’re at our lowest, weighed down with loss and uncertainty, we find ourselves searching for answers. But often, the more desperately we search, we only end up finding further questions. We go through our lives assuming deep down there’s some rhyme and reason to everything, but in the face of terrible struggle and grief it’s easy to feel defeated and lose faith. Feeling swallowed up by the darkness, a single drop of water at the whim of a vast savage ocean, asking yourself: “does any of it really matter?”. But in a life so fragile, a mere speck in the wider picture, in truth there is more meaning to be found, not less. With her contemplative new single ‘Odyssey’, Belwood favourite Francesca Louise brings that meaning to light. This beautifully bittersweet and cathartic folk number reminds you that every moment is made all the more precious by the fact that it is fleeting. That every life that touches our own is a blessing, a miraculous chance encounter in endless space and time. And I for one count myself lucky to have had this particular fleeting moment of beauty cross my path.

Top Tracks: Francesca Louise – For Michael

Losing someone close to you is never easy, but processing all that grief through a creative medium like music can be a very comforting and healing experience. However, the thought of then sharing that work with the world that special person left behind can be a deeply daunting proposition. It’s hard enough to capture all the ways they left their mark on you, and the void their absence has left in your own life, but the truth is you’re only seeing but one facet of who they are. How can you capture everything a person was, everything they meant to those that loved them most? As much as we may want to, the simple answer is you can’t. But we can preserve in a song simply that they were loved and will be dearly missed, and perhaps that is enough, as no one is ever truly gone so long as they are remembered. ‘For Michael’ is just such a track – simple, sincere, warm and loving – not trying to quantify all that was lost, just carrying his memory into a new day. A gorgeous offering recalling the golden age of singer/songwriters, it’s the most haunting, soulful and heartfelt release yet from the fabulous Francesca Louise, and is sure to resonate with anyone else who has kept a candle burning for the ones we’ve lost.

Top Ten EPs of 2020

The medium of choice for rising stars, an invaluable tool for up and coming artists, EPs are the oft overlooked lifeblood of the music industry. It’s always been our most hotly contested list as the wealth of great EPs often represents the very best and brightest new acts on the scene. In a music industry decimated by Covid-19 however, these artists are amongst those hardest hit. So as we reel off our favourite EPs from our least favourite year, if you stumble across a release that resonates with you, we ask that you do your bit to support the artists in whatever way you can. Continue reading

Interview: Francesca Louise

francesca louiseIt’s important to look for silver linings in times of uncertainty. They say that when a door closes a window opens, or words to that effect, and it’s just a matter of finding it. There’s a lot that we’ve been lacking in this year, but one thing we have no shortage of right now is time. Time that can be spent discovering new music; finding records to get lost in and absorbing every last note, stumbling upon artists whose words resonate in the deepest recesses of your soul. One of my favourite such discoveries from this year has been the incredibly talented Francesca Louise, whose debut EP Melancholic Antidote delivers just what its title promises. Her earnest lyricism and the welcoming embrace of the soulful folk arrangements offers the perfect sanctuary to escape to. Having nothing but time also meant I was lucky enough to chat to Francesca about her stunning new record. Continue reading

Spotlight!: Francesca Louise

francesca louiseThere’s a whole lot of solace to be found in sad songs. When an artist pours their heart out and releases all their fear and sorrow into the world, odds are it will find its way to someone who sees their own struggles reflected in the music. Finding comfort and reassurance rarely means having all the answers, often just the act of knowing you’re not alone, that other people are dealing with the same thoughts and feelings, is enough to keep you going. With her debut EP Melancholic Antidote, London based singer/songwriter Francesca Louise not only provides the perfect term to describe the process of fighting sadness with sadness, but also offers a prime example of it in action. Francesca is the kind of artist who holds nothing back, brave enough to bare her soul and share her fears and doubts with the world. Earnest songwriting is like a smile; you can tell when a smile is forced and when there’s a genuine spark in their eye that lights up the room. That same spark is woven into the very fabric of this EP. Continue reading

Top Tracks: Francesca Louise – Out Of Sight (Out Of Mind)

“It’s a funny feeling when you feel you’ve lost your mind” – doesn’t that just capture love in a nutshell? Falling for someone can really change a person; like a spell cast over you, like some phantom possessing you out of all your control. Love can make the most steadfast person succumb to impulse, cause the most logical mind to be ruled by passion, make the hardest of hearts yearn for openness and intimacy. The sway that love has over us is what makes it so beautiful in the long term, and also so terrifying when it first blooms. When you find yourself falling your emotions get caught in a daunting Catch-22 situation, one that’s captured brilliantly in the soulful folk of ‘Out Of Sight (Out Of Mind)’. This sincere new single from Francesca Louise, taken from her forthcoming debut EP Melancholic Antidote, shows how embracing love and avoiding it are equally difficult paths. It is no easy task to willingly be vulnerable, to give someone the power to either destroy you or build you up and trusting them to choose the latter. Nor is it any easier to bottle everything up, to have a secret on the tip of your tongue longing to be free, to have someone occupy your thoughts night and day alongside the ever present question of “what if?”. Francesca’s candour, earnestness and enrapturing vocals make this track really shine. I’ve chosen my path, I won’t let my love for this song go unspoken.