FIVE FAVOURITES: Fran Lobo

A singer, songwriter, producer, DJ, choral composer & sound artist; Fran Lobo has extensive and impressive experience in multiple areas of the music industry. The North East London artist takes inspiration from both the club scene and the choral scene to create her own music, and her new EP, Brave – released today (19th June) via Slow Dance Records – is a stellar example of how she seamlessly mixes these genres together.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Fran to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have influenced her writing techniques. Check out Fran’s choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for her track ‘Brave’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Aaliyah – ‘More Than A Woman’
This has got to be one of the best R&B/Pop songs ever made. The production from Timbaland is so playful and ASMR like. All the crazy percussion shakes, scrapes and clatters are so delicious. The drums are so powerful and the squelchy synths take you to a deep sludge. The guitar licks and string sample sounds are insane and the outro section just listening to that squelch alone is such life. Of course Aaliyah’s syrup vocals and delivery top it all off, it’s totally luscious and sensual. I love this track! I always aim to play it if I’m DJing somewhere and watch the crowd drop into ecstasy.

2. Tirzah – ‘Holding On’
I’m so in love with Tirzah and Mica, their Devotion record is a slight obsession for me. This track is so simple and hits so direct yet in a complex way. I love the brassy synth sound and highly reverbed, floaty but big old school drum machine beat which is so driving. Tirzah’s vocal is so relaxed but also troubled. “This feeling’s controlling me, I can’t shut it down” – it’s so gentle and so melancholic and easy at the same time. I can imagine dancing to this in a big club and also crying at the same time. I really connected to the sentiment of this song when I went through a troubling relationship while writing this EP. I even danced around at like 3am with said person blasting this track on full, singing the lyrics pretty much to them! It’s got such a yearning and fragile quality to it and at the same time the sounds are so pleasing you can’t help but sway and step to it.

3. FKA twigs – ‘Sad Day’
The latest Twigs record is my favourite piece of work she’s put out. The production is really adventurous and powerful. This particular track has an incredibly classic quality to the songwriting. In my opinion, it’s one of the strongest songs on the record, production aside. It’s got a simplicity to it too that drives the story home. I love the sound design/ field recordings throughout and use of vocal sampling in the breakdowns. The drum programming is really interesting and has strange textures in there. The chorus is killer and my absolute favourite part – the bridge sounds like something from Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ era. It’s so beautiful and really lifts your heart out of your chest. I think the song is so exposing and vulnerable and it’s a perfect mix of old songwriting and adventurous 2020 production.

4. Everything Everything – ‘Kemosabe’
What an incredible band! This song, just as a feeling, brings me so much joy. The chorus takes you up to space, makes you want to outstretch your arms and look to the sky. The vocal production on the intro and strange noises are really great, how all the sounds really move around. All the new elements that come in genuinely make you so excited. The guitar parts and “Yes!” shouts/echoes really build you to the chorus amazingly. I like how quick and rhythmically the vocals and lyrics are delivered, again quite stark and unusual. The bridge brings a great down moment, then the synths build us back into the chorus. I think it’s jaw-droppingly great as a song, and all the movements happen at the right time. The production and body of the song is really alive and keeps moving forwards.

5. Mount Kimbie ft. Micachu – ‘Marilyn’
Andy, who I worked with on my EP recorded the marimba on this in his studio. The intro is so great. And wow, Mica’s vocal is just so standout. I love listening to her voice, it tells you so much! I love the live percussion and orchestral instruments mixed with drum machine/live kit. All the sounds are so interesting, the mix of them. What I love about this tune is that it sounds like it was recorded in one take or as a jam, it’s so free and natural.

Thanks to Fran for sharing her favourites with us. Listen to her new EP Brave here.

Fran will be playing at the Love record stores digital event on Saturday 20th June.
Full event details here.

Photo credit: El Hardwick

LISTEN: Fran Lobo – ‘Brave’

An atmospheric ode to women who thrive in the face of adversity; Fran Lobo has shared her latest single, ‘Brave’. Lifted from her EP of the same name, which is set for release on 19th June via Slow Dance Records, Lobo blends electronic and orchestral elements together to create her stirring soundscape.

A singer, songwriter, producer, DJ, choral composer & sound artist; Lobo has extensive and impressive experience in multiple areas of the music industry. The North East London artist takes inspiration from both the club scene and the choral scene to create her own music, and ‘Brave’ is a strong example of how she seamlessly mixes these genres together.

Speaking about her new single, Lobo explains: “This was a mantra to myself, to stay brave because there is no other choice in the face of our world and diminishing relationships. The world moves on and we have no choice but to move with it. It is also a comment on the intense expectations on women; what to be and what not to be.”

Her message also applies to the current crisis we are all living through: “I wanted to dedicate this track to key workers and those working hard to keep us safe. My Dad works in a care home where there has been little PPE and going to work has felt like an everyday risk, to honour the brave people working in these conditions, I’m donating 50% of band camp revenue to Age UK.”

We’re impressed by Lobo’s kindness and positive energy during this difficult time. Listen to ‘Brave’ below and download the track from bandcamp in order to donate to Age UK.

Follow Fran Lobo on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo credit: El Hardwick

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Fran Lobo – ‘Monster’

Jagged electronics, pulsing beats and striking vocals permeate ‘Monster’, the latest single from London-based artist Fran Lobo. Lifted from her new EP Brave, which is set for release on 19th June via via Slow Dance Records, the track is a collaborative effort exploring the frustrations surrounding identity, relationships, and reality.

Speaking about the track, Fran explains: “[It] started from a jam on a Volca sample I’d bought myself, and evolved into an embodiment of frustration with identity, relationships and dreams/reality. The song includes the voices of Deep Throat Choir, LIPS and the Roundhouse Choir, Jemma Freeman on guitar, [and] samples, rare drum machines and synthesisers”.

Fran’s fusion of voices, sounds, and themes makes ‘Monster’ a cohesive, impressive listen. The track is accompanied by a set of visuals that also hold significance for the artist: “The video is a journey from London to Southern India and back, exploring the displacement and search for identity experienced as a child of the diaspora. It deals with the idea of family, belonging and friendship and in doing so, asks audiences to question their own sense of identity.”

Watch the video for ‘Monster’ below, and follow Fran Lobo on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo credit: El Hardwick

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut