FIVE FAVOURITES: Francis Of Delirium

Creators of swirling, grunge-infused guitar tunes, Luxembourg-based duo Francis Of Delirium write songs about the ever-evolving nature of human emotion. Together, songwriter & guitarist Jana Bahrich and her collaborator Chris Hewett have released two EPs via Dalliance Records, with their most recent offering, Wading, continuing Jana’s narratives of personal resilience and enlightenment.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Jana to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have inspired the band’s song-writing techniques. Check out her choices below and scroll down to listen to Francis Of Delirium’s latest single ‘I Think I’m Losing’ at the end of this post.

1. Arca – KiCk i
I found Arca through the newest Euphoria episode. There’s this one scene where they use Arca’s music and it’s this crazy gunshot type beat and it sounds so smoke and it is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever heard. I spent weeks trying to figure out where I could hear it in full but it turns out it’s not released. In the process though, I became obsessed with her album KiCk i. I’m trying to get better at electronic production and I like to use Kick i as my north star, less as a template to copy but more as the realization that anything is possible. She’s so creative in everything that she does which I find very inspiring, plus her songs just do something to my body that makes it feel like it’s exploding. I love you Arca.

2. Sufjan Stevens – All Delighted People
Hoping this will pass as an “album” even though it’s an EP! This is my favourite Sufjan project, easily. I feel like in this era Sufjan Stevens was making music for kids who were in the school brass band and so I felt very seen. I love the way he uses horns and trombones in All Delighted PeOple and the song-writing is still so strong, he also just gives you so much time to settle into each song which I love. The first Sufjan Stevens song I ever heard was ‘Casmir Pulaski Day’, my friends showed it to me. I went home that day and then learned it on the banjo. I spent a lot of my teens consuming solely his music. Then I realized his music was in Little Miss Sunshine which was my favourite movie then, so it felt like Sufjan was the man for me.

3. Half Waif – The Caretaker
Half Waif has such a wonderful ear for melody and uses vocal harmonies so wonderfully. Even on the first track, you’re almost immediately hit with those harmonies and they’re so beautiful and her delivery is heart-breaking and pulls at your chest. I couldn’t tell you how she’s influenced my song-writing but she must have because I’ve probably listened to The Caretaker everyday since it came out. Similarly to Arca, I often reference Nandi’s production choices, she has an incredible ability to make electronic sounds feel so tactile and warm and human, I just love everything she does. I first found Half Waif through her Tiny Desk which is also incredible, I say it a lot but I just love when artists give you their whole voice and body in a performance, it becomes so easy to connect with them through that.

4. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
I don’t know how much I can express how much I love this album. When it comes to rock music and I look at someone like Car Seat Headrest, it’s just a reminder that you can and should keep making music on your own and you should make whatever it is you want to make. Especially since Chris and I record our own music, I found it really helpful to look to other artists that were making music on their own and read articles from them to try and figure out how to do it on their own. Then lyrically and performance wise the album is perfect to me, I find a kind of peace whenever I listen to Twin Fantasy. There’s always something unexpected in a Car Seat Headrest song when you listen to it the first time and I really value that, I feel like you are walking along some dark long winding road whenever you jump into a Car Seat Headrest record.

5. Heart – Dreamboat Annie
A lot of my favourite songs and albums I’ve actively disliked before I love them. For some reason, I couldn’t get into ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ when I was young and then I turned 14 and it was the greatest song I’d ever heard. I have a specific memory of this one rock station in Vancouver that would always play Heart all the time whenever my dad and I would drive to Taekwondo, and I thought it was some of the worst music I’d ever heard. After maybe 5 car rides, I was obsessed with Heart. If my dad and I go on a drive anywhere now, we definitely scream and sing along to ‘Crazy On You’, that song is so good, and they’re both so talented it’s crazy. They give everything to all the songs they play and that is something I try to do with every performance of our songs.

Thanks to Jana for sharing her favourites with us!

Follow Francis Of Delirium on bandcampSpotifyFacebookTwitter & Instagram

Photo Credit: Lynn Theisen

PLAYLIST: Transgender Awareness Week 2020

At Get In Her Ears, we stand every day with our transgender and gender non-conforming siblings. We support trans artists because they create some of our favourite music and because trans rights are human rights and until trans lives matter, no lives matter.

Transgender Awareness Week kicks off today (13th Nov) until the 19th November, ending with Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20th November, so we’re highlighting some of the incredible transgender artists who regularly land on our turntables and blast out of our speakers. Listen to our playlist at the end of this post and keep an eye on our Twitter, Facebook & Instagram accounts this week, as we’ll be posting about some of our favourite transgender artists over the next 7 days.

If you need support during Transgender Awareness Week, or at anytime in the future, you can always reach out to Switchboard LGBT+ via their website or by calling 0330 330 0630.

 

Mykki Blanco (feat. Princess Nokia) – ‘Wish You Would’
This is a song from an artist who I feel needs no introduction, a queer transgender pioneer who is doing amazing things for LGBTQ+ rights, as well as being open about their positive HIV status. Mykki Blanco is an incredible artist and I love their music. (Tash Walker)

Arca – ‘KLK’
Arca is a trailblazing trans artist who has been pushing boundaries in the electronica scene for years now. I love her music, especially right now where I cannot quite scratch that live gig rave itch. Turn this up loud, close your eyes and dance dance dance, you’ll feel free. (TW)

Mavi Phoenix – ‘Boys Toys’
Mavi Phoenix is someone that we interviewed a couple of years back now, but who spoke so eloquently about equality and the importance of queer music in the world. Phoenix has found a home in their new sound and also in the pronoun “he”. This track is taken from their debut album of the same name, which was released earlier this year. This is all about Phoenix being reborn, which is what happens in the accompanying music video to this track. ‘Boys Toys’ is as important as an exploration for Phoenix’s gender identity as it is for his artistic work. And on top of all that, it’s an absolute tune. Enjoy. (TW)

Grawl!x – ‘Epicene’
Having headlined the last gig we held at The Finsbury before the world changed forever, Grawl!x creates euphoric cinematic soundscapes filled with twinkling electronic hooks and spellbinding harmonies. Characterised by Maria’s distinctive impassioned vocals and a poignant stirring emotion, each offering from the Derby-based artist is utterly captivating. (Mari Lane)

Tokky Horror – ‘Simulate Me’
Dance-punk trio Tokky Horror are the perfect soundtrack for a lockdown 2.0 bedroom rave. ‘Stimulate Me’ is just one of the many TUNES this band have and I’m excited to hear more from them in 2021. (Kate Crudgington)

LOTIC – ‘Burn A Print’
Berlin-based artist & producer LOTIC’s mission is to “live life to the fullest by not giving a fuck about what anybody thinks”, something she clearly and defiantly communicates on this track. With a name that means to “to inhabit rapidly moving water”, Lotic’s chaotic yet fluid soundscapes truly embody her passionate, fighting spirit. (KC)

PET Wife – ‘B.L.O.O.D.O.R.A.N.G.E.’
I Love what I’ve heard from PET wife so far! I came across them only a couple of weeks ago. PET wife, are a trans/nonbinary couple and art-pop duo from Bushwick, Brooklyn. This single is accompanied by a music video that they describe as an homage to the vampire lesbian exploitation films of the 1970s, with an all-trans/gender non-conforming crew and queer cast. (TW)

Gordian Stimm – ‘Miscellaneous Body Parts’
There’s an enjoyable violence underscoring Gordian Stimm’s vision; a gleeful, sometimes painful dissecting of the self and the social cues that either help to construct or dismantle it. Their debut album Your Body In On Itself (released by Amateur Pop Incorporated) is a bold, surreal listen from a bold, surreal artist and one I highly recommend. (KC)

Anohni – ‘Why Did You Separate Me From The Earth?’
Anohni is a necessary and powerful voice that we need now more than ever. On identifying as transgender, Anohni once said in an interview with The Guardian: “I was never going to become a beautiful, passable woman, and I was never going to be a man… It’s a quandary. But the trans condition is a beautiful mystery; it’s one of nature’s best ideas. What an incredible impulse that compels a five-year-old child to tell its parents it isn’t what they think it is. Given just a tiny bit of oxygen, those children can flourish and be such a gift. They give other people licence to explore themselves more deeply, allowing the colours in their own psyche to flourish.” (ML)

Kermes – ‘Yr Beast’
Self proclaimed “anxious rock for the gay agenda”, Leicester band Kermes address issues such as gender dysphoria, sexism and dysfunctional relationships, with their infectious emotion-strewn punk-pop oozing a raw, angst-driven energy and scuzzy shimmering power. Kermes feature on fantastic new compilation compiled by their label Amateur Pop Incorporated, including other favourites Gordian Stimm and Boarder. All We Want Is Everything is available now on bandcamp. (ML)

Bitch Hunt – ‘Spaceman’
London based all queer/non-binary band Bitch Hunt formed at First Timers Fest, and create catchy, scuzzy punk-pop. With a subtle tongue-in-cheek wit and the gritty deadpan vocals of front person Sian, ‘Spaceman’ is a spot-on reflection on the sickening arrogance of all those cis male ‘splainers and ‘spreaders we so often have to endure in our day to day lives. Check out the gorgeous split EP from Bitch Hunt and other faves adults, available on bandcamp now. (ML)

The Crystal Furs – ‘Too Kind To Be Cruel’
Oregon-based The Crystal Furs create sunny, queer indie-pop that’s set to uplift on each listen. As shimmering guitar and organ melodies flow alongside honey-sweet vocal harmonies, it’s just perfectly catchy, twinkling jangle-pop at its finest. Beautiful and True, the latest album from The Crystal Furs, is out now, with many tracks addressing queer rights and transgender identity. (ML)

T-Bitch – ‘Tranarchy’
Southend-based glam punks T-Bitch give just the right amount of fucks on ‘Tranarchy’, but most importantly – they’re here to be heard and have fun. (KC)

Claire Foxx & The Antisocial Justice Worriers – ‘(I Don’t Want Your) Germs’
Scottish punk singer & songwriter Claire Foxx released this track in September and it’s a riotous, tongue-in-cheek take-down of all things Covid-19 (with some fab sax solos in there too.) (KC)

 

Husk – ‘Below The Neck’
“I would never change being trans. I would never change being a trans musician. The industry should support us. Book us. Play us. Listen to us. We have so much to offer.” A poignant sentiment from Trans, non-binary artist Husk, who combines ’80s synth-pop nostalgia with fresh leftfield pop to create their signature sound. (ML)

SOPHIE – ‘Immaterial’
This track is taken from SOPHIE’s debut album and I love it. A pioneer of experimental music, often the producer behind so many other amazing tracks, remixes and artists. Described as disorientating latex pop which I think sums up my first experience of seeing SOPHIE live – intense at its best. (TW)

Jackie Shane – ‘Comin’ Down’
I can’t resist adding soul singer Jackie Shane to our playlists. Her wonderfully smooth vocals, sophisticated style and bravery and defiance in the face of transphobia in the early 60s make her a true GIHE icon. (KC)