FIVE FAVOURITES: Francis Of Delirium

Formed of 18 year old songwriter Jana Bahrich and collaborator Chris Hewett, Francis of Delirium create swirling guitar tunes that centre around Bahrich’s personal experiences. The Canadian-American duo recently released their new EP, All Change, via Dalliance Recordings and it’s full of fuzzed up, cathartic guitar sounds.

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 about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that inspired her song-writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to listen to Francis Of Delirium’s new EP at the end of this post.

 

1. Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left
I can pinpoint the exact moment I heard ‘River Man’ for the first time. That song is so special, everything about Nick Drake is really special. It legitimately made me feel like my soul was lifting out of my body. His voice, the chord progressions, the string arrangements, everything adds so much. It might’ve affected me so much because it’s this singer-songwriter but it feels presented in a way that is completely new and so grounded in the earth. Both Chris and I have a special love for Nick Drake. We played this kind of brutal show and then came into the studio the next day and watched a Nick Drake documentary so there’s something comforting about him and his music, in particular this whole album.

2. Caroline Polachek – Pang
I think this is just an excellent pop record. The vocal melodies she’s choosing are so angular and unexpected but accompanied with really emotional and lush production. She has such control of her voice. There’s a KEXP session she did that was just her and a piano and I had to keep pausing the video every few seconds because I was so overwhelmed by how insane her voice is. It sounds out of this world.

3. Solange – When I Get Home
As a listener it feels like there’s so much intent with everything Solange does, maybe I’m cheating because there is literally an interlude on the album that says “do nothing without intention”. Both visually and in an auditory sense. She did a performance that was a medley of songs from When I Get Home on Jimmy Fallon and that was really important to me. I love choreography and shows that are big and planned but have a way of maintaining intimacy. I think that’s really hard to pull off. It’s something I think about a lot for our live shows. Obviously venues we play are pretty small, so it feels important to keep a closeness between the performer and the audience but I would like to incorporate something theatrical without alienating the audience so it doesn’t feel like I’m not there with them anymore. To me, Solange achieved that with her performance on Jimmy Fallon and the album is great.

4. The Microphones – The Glow pt.2
Phil Elverum’s music always centres me. It reminds me why I like Chris and I figuring out how to record music on our own and how getting it wrong but it still feeling right and ultimately that being what matters the most is really important. Phil always creates such a wonderful sense of space which makes me feel like I belong in the album he’s making, in particular this one, there’s this sense of home. Whenever I listen to him I want to go and try new recording techniques and try new things, listening to his music is like instant inspiration for me.

5. James Taylor – Greatest Hits
We grew up with a lot of “best of” albums around the house, which I never really realized until a bit recently. We had the R.E.M CD with the hand on it, the Nirvana black album, the wings best of, The Beatles one album so I really grew up on bangers only. Sometimes I want to do these huge ambitious orchestral albums and I still want to make a musical but James Taylor always reminds me, if you have something simple and pure and honest it can be just as arresting as anything else. He makes it seem a lot easier than it is and always reminds me to really check and double check if what I’m adding is serving the song.

Thanks to Jana for sharing her favourites with us! Listen to Francis Of Delirium’s EP below.

Photo Credit: Patricia Marets

FIVE FAVOURITES: Bones Garage

Tel Aviv-based band Bones Garage have been making music together for the last 6 years. Formed of Ariel Pedatzur, Eden Atad, Yaniv Bin, Dor Harari, Yoni Deutsch and Raz Copperman, they’ve played stages at Glastonbury, SXSW, All Points East, and The Great Escape, and are set to release their third record in May this year. Influenced by elements of post-punk, surf rock and shoegaze, the six piece create intriguing soundscapes, but their latest single ‘I’ve Loved’ shows the band can also deliver stripped back, gentler tracks too. 

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 Bones Garage to ask them about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced their song writing techniques. Check out their choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for ‘I’ve Loved’ at the end of this post.

1. John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band
Like many others, we grew up as Beatles freaks. The first show Eden and Yaniv ever played together was a Beatles covers show at their school. But somehow this album ended up resonating with us more than any Beatles record. It’s raw, personal, heartbreaking, broken, yet perfectly beautiful. The experiments and cleverness of The Beatles was replaced by bare-minimum arrangements. As a band of six people, our initial arrangements are rarely minimal, but this album is a great reminder that sometimes simple and raw is the most beautiful.

2. Elliot Smith – Either/Or
We’ve been called many things – post-punk, surf, shoegaze, and so on – and the aesthetics in our music are indeed influenced by many genres. But that’s all extra stuff on top of the most important thing – the songwriting itself. We admire too many songwriters to list here, but Elliot Smith stands apart as one of the most open, sensitive, talented and emotional songwriters in history. Either/Or is the peak of his career, an album that perfectly sums up the emotions we strive to achieve in music.

3. Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams
It all started when Timber Timbre were scheduled to play in Israel, and we were asked to cover one of their songs to help promote the show. Somehow, we ended up as their opening act for two shows in Israel, years apart. We’ve discovered this great band together, and their lush, dark and dramatic style have influenced us greatly. The gentle, meaningful drumming of Olivier Farfield has been a great influence on our drummer Dor (who used to be an insanely loud metal drummer), and we’ve discovered and experienced their great music together, as a band. And also, we think our cover turned out pretty well (listen to it here).

4. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
After a revolutionary debut album, Stephen Malkmus and Pavement delivered a masterpiece that’s everything rock music should aspire to be. It’s a nostalgic record, reminds us of hot summer days, makes you want to ride a skateboard with friends, listen to music and fall in love like when we were naïve teenagers. It’s full of humor and silliness, a reminder we shouldn’t always take ourselves too seriously, and still manages to be profound and meaningful. It sounds like it was made up on the spot and recorded in one take, yet every note and word is right where it should be. And besides, Stephen Malkmus really is something special.’Middle America’ is, hands down, one of the best songs we’ve heard in the last few years.

5. The Microphones – The Glow Pt 2.
When we were teens, Eden and Yaniv recorded a string of weird, ambitious albums on their own in a home studio. Most of them honestly weren’t great at all, but it helped us become who we are. So it’s great to see such a masterpiece like “The Glow Pt. 2” made in a home studio. Phil Elverum has combined raw, emotional, stark songwriting with experimentation and weird noises, taking us to an emotional journey that has deeply influenced our music, and they way we’ve learned to use noise to express ourselves.

Thanks to Bones Garage for sharing their favourites with us. Follow the band on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Eirad Netzer