Within a relatively short period of time (less than one year), White realized that he had enough songs that he was satisfied with to release his self-titled, debut album, one that is truly emblematic of a DIY artist from start to finish. Released in May, the results are songs like the upbeat, driving pop song, “Calipso,” which is arguably the crown jewel of his debut. The arrangements are inspired by “vintage sounds, soft vocals and lo-fi recording sound,” as White himself put it.
“Calipso” – Francis Whitefrom Francis White
We’ve listened to the album a number of times in the past couple of months, and one of the things that stands out is the range of musical styles that White embraces, from mid-tempo folk/pop ballads, such as “Like a Stranger,” and the hard rocking “On My Way” to the more edgy, punk-leaning angst of “Pleased To Meet You.” His music is as diverse as his biggest musical influences, including Richard Hawley, The Drums, Crystal Castles, The Beatles, and Salim Nourallah, among others.
“Like a Stranger” – Francis White from Francis White
Most people would probably agree that a self-taught artist in his early 20’s who writes, sings, plays, records and mixes all of the instruments for his songs, and then spends God knows how many hours mixing them all together, deserves extra points. Not many people can do that, even most other musicians. Although we certainly like these lo-fi recordings, it’s exciting to think how they’d sound with a great producer, engineered and mixer who all understood the importance to maintain as much of the gritty, DIY, lo-fi mystique as possible.
In choosing White as an Artist of the Week, we took all of these factors into consideration. The bottom line is that White has clearly demonstrated talent, ambition and promise, and we’ll be watching his progress. There are not many artists at his age that can pull off a feat like that from A to Z. Maybe in a year or two from now, more fans of DIY one-man bands will know about Francis White.
“On My Way” – Francis Whitefrom Francis White
“Pin Up” – Francis Whitefrom Francis White
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