As Francis Lung announces a new single and accompanying video, Getintothis’ Gary Aster brings us the story so far.
Former Wu Lyf chief songwriter Francis Lung is preparing to drop his hotly-anticipated and long-awaited debut album, from which the second single, Up and Down, has just emerged.
On the track and the video, Lung explains, “The song is a bipolar love story – two lovers with manic mood swings, the narrator speaks in an accusing tone, berating his lover for their erratic behaviour, in denial and unaware that they are just as difficult.
The quietness of the vocal delivery in the verses and dramatic, loud delivery of the choruses is meant to represent a mood swing from depressed to euphoric and back again.”
The video was directed by Mancunian filmmakers GRANDMAS. It follows a young woman after she murders an anonymous man in a hotel room.
We tag along with her through her self-destructive path to oblivion as she wanders the streets at night, drinking copious amounts of tonic wine. She happens upon a northern karaoke bar where she sings her swan song as police sirens sound in the distance.
Following on from the home-recorded Volumes 1 + 2 EPs, which contained titbits written during his time in Wu Lyf, debut album A Dream Is U is the first fully-realised Francis Lung record, a studio undertaking brought to life with producer Brendan Williams (Dutch Uncles, GoGo Penguin).
“Before we started recording I knew exactly what the arrangements were in my head” Francis says, reflecting on the time spent devising his new work. “It was kind of my mission to capture everything as it was in my imagination”.
A Dream Is U might fit neatly into the classic pop drawer but it comes with all manner of decoration, from violin and viola, to cello and saxophone.
Writing for strings for the first time, Francis was inspired by the likes of Michael Brown (The Left Banke) and Robert Kirby (Nick Drake) and the parts are played by two members of the Hallé Orchestra, while the saxophone was played by Manchester’s jazz saxophonist Sam Healy.
“He mostly played stuff I’d written for him” Francis says, “but the solo at the end of The Lie is all him, with me in the studio trying to direct him by jumping around and waving my arms!”
Touching upon the universal themes of addiction, faith, and love in all of its confusion, A Dream Is U is a collection of characters and stories. “My favourite part is when it talks about escaping to another universe” Francis says of Unnecessary Love. “Although it’s a doomed and impossible dream, it’s amusing to me that if we survive long enough it could be a real possibility.”
Debut Album A Dream Is U is out August 2nd on Memphis Industries.