Powerhouse blues singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Angelique Francis has released her highly anticipated new album, Long River. On top of that, she’s unveiled the release’s first single, “Storms From My Eyes”, the stunning slow-burner of a song sets a languid, classic blues heartbreak start to the engrossing voyage down the Ottawa-based artist’s new 14-track collection.
Blues traditions are at the heart of all of the songs, but there are also intriguing genre bends towards Soul, Folk, Jazz, Gospel, and Rock along the way. Francis’ versatile, soulful, and evocative vocals anchor the trip, conjuring up reminiscences of Big Mama Thornton, Koko Taylor, Aretha, Bessie Smith, and more. And it’s the mixture of genres and influences running through Long River — and the sense of everything and everyone being connected — that anchor the key concept Francis wanted to convey with her new album.
“Despite our differences, and the vast variations in our personal histories, we are all floating down this river together,” notes Francis. “We are all connected in this way. We have all shared the same beginning, and we will all share the same end.”
Sharing that the title track of the album was written about the River of Life, for Francis, the universal connection and journey of all humanity is the thread that binds this project together.
“This analogy is the focal point on which this album of completely original songs is based,” she says. “A multitude of stories, experiences, and emotions of joy, pain, triumph, anger, love, embarrassment, and humour are reflected throughout.”
In addition to Francis’ focal point contributions as lead vocalist, she plays upright bass, electric bass, harmonica, acoustic and electric guitar, organ, and keyboards on the album. Joining her are four of her family members: co-songwriter, producer, drummer, and vocalist Kiran Francis, saxophonist and vocalist Kharincia Francis, trombonist, and vocalist Kira Francis, and vocalist Kayla Francis. Rounding out the band are Dave Williamson on lead electric guitar and Ed Lister on trumpet.
“Much like life, Blues music is also a river. Blues is at the root of all modern North American forms of music, and its influence has flowed into the creation of many genres we know and love today.
“This album is not only a beginning to an exploration of the current human condition, but an exploration and consolidation of the many forms of blues, and blues-influenced music.”
Watch the lyric video for “Storms From My Eyes” below, and stay up to date with Angelique via her socials.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.