It’s a shame that I don’t have much time to listen to radio anymore. Granted, I find lots of new music through co-hosting my own radio show and in turn listening to Siren FM. However, I suppose other things have since got in the way. Although, having said that, earlier this week I was listening to BBC Radio 1 and I heard Frances – this week’s Musical Discovery – for the first time.
For those who haven’t already come across Frances (real name Sophie Cooke – with her middle name being ‘Frances’), she went on tour with James Bay last year and was recently nominated for both the BRITs Critics’ Choice Award and the BBC’s Sound of 2016 Award. Whilst Jack Garratt won both, that is not to say that Frances can’t go on to reach similar – or greater – success. For example, in the year that Sam Smith won the Critics’ Choice Award, nominees Ella Eyre and Chloe Höwl did just as well. Also, when Years and Years won the BBC Sound of 2015, that didn’t stop James Bay from having an absolutely fantastic year.
This was the song which I heard on BBC Radio 1 earlier this week and I was instantly hooked. It’s now January but perhaps it was the bouncy, festive-sounding synth which grabbed my attention. Aside from this, Frances’ lyrics blend brilliantly with numerous backing instruments – be it the jumpy synthesiser melody, or robotic drum beat.
Nowadays, there are only a few songs where I am able to hear the lyrics, or find a song catchy. However, the bridge is something which sticks out for me in this track. In particular, the words are unique and creative: Maybe I’ve been seeing salt in the sand/I should know it’s all in my head/But a question I know, I have to ask/Are we in the hands of borrowed time?
Overall, Borrowed Time certainly brings something new to the original dance style, which will certainly make her music stand out this year.
Let it Out:
With this single, it was the typical structure of the track which intrigued me. Frances’ usual, mellow vocals are placed on top of a slow, laid-back drum beat which creates the sound of a typical ballad. However, what really makes this song stand out is how experimental Frances is with the lyrics and her vocal range. For instance, the line: And a pretty cold sadness, if it a goes, has a rather unique rhythm which grabbed my attention. Then, in the chorus, she is able to truly demonstrate her true talent and soul.
After listening to this song, something in my mind clicked. I swear I had heard the song before? As someone who is a massive fan of television and can worryingly recite the scripts and songs from most adverts, I knew that this had to be from a commercial. It was one quick Google search later that I realised that it was from a recent Amazon Prime advert.
Aside from it being quite a heart-warming story, Frances’ soft vocals make it one of those emotional songs which can bring a tear to your eye even when the positive message of grow is at the centre of the single.
From the upbeat Borrowed Time, powerful ballad of Let it Out and the soulful Grow, Frances ability to adapt to different music styles is commendable and brings new, refreshing vocals to the music scene.
What do you think of Frances? Which is your favourite song? Comment below!