Indie bedroom-pop artist JW Francis releases his third studio album Dream House on January 27. I was able to listen to it several days before release, and this is what I thought.
Shutting my eyes, the grey gloomy skies of a Scottish January seemed to dissipate as I hit play on the first track of twelve, Going Home To A Party. The exotic vibey verse quickly jumps to an upbeat chorus with a speedy addictive melody. The lyrics have an equally cheery sentiment that results in a fantastical tone-setting album opener.
Casino has some slightly darker lyricism, a heartbreaking plea muttered with increasingly slurred words, with the contrasting cheery backtrack. He sings of hidden pain: “I need the world way more than anyone needs me in it”, and “no one knows I’m broke and breaking promises”. It’s a song not to take at face value, it shows the album has some emotional depth; the art of haunting nightmares as well as fluffy dreams.
The title track Dream House slows the album down melodically. The lyrics talk of yearning against an oceanic pop back track. Its pleading chorus reaching out to God gives another welcome twist to the album’s story.
Numerous tracks on the album deliver different mental images. Swooning sounds like a leather jacket ‘T-Bird’ anthem; All Night Long has sultry chords and a deep husky voice that makes it by far the most sensual track on the album; Take Me Away has a more traditionally indie sound that quite literally takes the album away in a sonically different direction.
The final track, Sweet As A Rose, uses the classic compliment to bring the album right back to where we started. Simplicity and joy is a nice note to end and begin on.
The beachy bedroom tracks on this album sound a far cry from the equally cold winter in New York where JW Francis hails, but it’s a welcome sound that wraps you up in its warm arms.
A little more diversity in sound would’ve been welcome, but the appeal of bedroom pop is that it’s limited by what you can accomplish at home. Although, this has resulted in an album with no especially stand-out tracks. It’s a cohesive album that works as well as a unit.
Despite this, Dream House is compact and concise, fun and quirky. JW Francis has certainly delivered an album that fits into a tidy category and is worth checking out when it releases tomorrow, January 27.
JW Francis will also be starting his UK/EU Tour in Edinburgh on January 27 at Assai in Edinburgh.
Featured Image Credit: Eva Pentel / DIY Mag
Journalism and English Studies student with an interest in film & tv, music, and politics.
Live on Air3 Thursday 1-2.30
You must log in to post a comment.