Francis and the Lights first performed in college, singing the entire The Immortal Otis Redding while backed by a young band. He has since gone on to gather new bandmates, release an emotion-filled album, and write music for rapper Drake. He performs tomorrow at a sold-out SF show before heading to Coachella.
Francis and the Lights refers not to lead performer Francis Farewell Starlite and his backing band, but a deeper meaning focusing on the stage lights used throughout shows. This is appropriate given the highly creative music Francis has written, a mid-eighties electronic rock sound often reminiscent of Steely Dan, Peter Gabriel, or the more modern group Chromeo. While pianos, guitars, and drums melodically lead the feelgood sound of his 2010 album It’ll Be Better, the true star is Francis’s crooning voice and deep lyrics.
Francis’s performances are known to be vibrant productions; his tall hair flapping along with each emotion he projects while working through a small yet deep discography that easily transcends genres, sometimes including the song he produced for Drake, “Karaoke,” or his cover of Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” Francis has a unique style that is unlike any other and while it will be exciting to watch his career and name grow throughout 2011, it will also be interesting to hear what style of music is coming next and with whom he will collaborate in the future. He makes his Coachella debut this Saturday.
Francis and the Lights “For Days”
Francis and the Lights cover of Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
For a taste of Francis and the Lights live performance style check out this music video for his song “Darling, It’s Alright,” recorded in one take and edited with lighting.
Francis and the Lights performs at Cafe du Nord this Wednesday, April 13 along with Oh Land and Sunday Ghost for a sold out show.