The idea of a fallow year for music just wasn’t an option for New York City newcomer JW Francis. The Oklahoma-born, Paris-raised and New York City resident just had too much to give in 2020 for something like a global pandemic to get in the way. On a personal level, JW Francis’ ‘everything’s gonna be all right’ attitude to music has been a real positive message as I followed his singles through this year. From the beautifully floral and seasonal artwork of his singles, to the release of his down-to-earth debut album We Share a Similar Joy released this month, JW’s music is the low-key guardian angel we didn’t know we needed.
Slow-burning, crooning and telling tales of close friendship, openness and the flawed joy of human relationships, We Share a Similar Joy sidesteps the serious and exersizes it’s right to be positive and self-exploratory – that’s not to say that the lyrical content is flimsy, more a sonic comfort blanket. While stand out moments on a first listen may come in the form of the pacier New York, Good Time and Gold, it’s the intimate numbers such a Loving Nobody and Everything that cut deepest. You feel JW Francis could be as captivating armed only with an acoustic guitar as much as with a full band, and that’s testament to the tangible feel and sentiment of each track. Find JW on Spotify here.
Words by Karl Johnson. Photo by Emma Noelle.