Distant flickering lights give way to black and white images of a small, intimate club and the band that has taken its stage tonight. The bass marches forward with a hesitant hustle, the guitar follows suit in a harmonious groove. The rhythm that the drums are conjuring up frames a passionate vocal from the one and only Francine Honey, who enters the spotlight and immediately commands the attention of everyone in the room with her emotive singing. We’re in the front row for a performance from one of the underground’s most discussed crooners this spring, and she isn’t holding anything back from us in this, her latest single, “Stay.” “Stay” is a song steeped in melancholy and defined by its pristinely melodic pleas, but it’s anything but a self-serving exercise in pop egotism.
OFFICIAL VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCJdNLvukrw
As cinematic as the music video is, the soundtrack is the real star here. There’s a lot of details to be appreciated within the instrumentation, and furthermore, its decadent arrangement amidst the virtuosic verses that Honey lays down effortlessly. Her style is unapologetically show-stealing, but it doesn’t ignore the value of rich tonality as it’s espoused by the glowing guitar parts in this track. The vocal is as soft as a velvet sheet and dripping with honest pain, the likes of which many artists would conceal with platitudes and mundane metaphors, but rather than employing a sonic smokescreen, Honey gets as real as she’s ever been with us in “Stay,” and subsequently dispenses her most relatable and endearing song so far.
France Honey continues to impress discriminating critics and fans like myself with her evolving songcraft and disciplined use of grandiose textures, and I think that, in many ways, this new single encapsulates her identity as a composer and vocalist better than any other that she has released thus far has. She’s a storyteller, a master of homespun harmonies, and most importantly, a soulful singer who knows a thing or two about conveying emotions that are otherwise impossible to express in words alone. I’m going to be keeping tabs on her future output for sure, and once you get a taste of her latest work, I think you will to.