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 EPs 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, and recently working with 4AD signees Inc.
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,' a song existing between the blue-eyed soul classicism of Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale," contemporary, shape-shifting synth inflicted 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 bona fide 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 four 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.