Fran Smith is not your typical singer-songwriter. Unlike many of her contemporaries who have gravitated towards a sound akin to Elena Tonra of Daughter, the synth-pop of CHVRCHES and Grimes, or the balladry of Adele or Lorde, her style recalls one of modern music’s first “divas” – Sarah Brightman.
Like the Phantom of the Opera and mass Requiem star, Smith’s voice is powerful and enchanting, rising high above the music even when it is spoken like a whisper. Her music has a theatrical vibe, as her piano-driven, baroque pop leaves you imagining landscapes only seen on film or stage. Her songwriting is equally as vivid, painting scenes with her sharp, allegorical pen. This combination has led to many major media outlets applauding her work. The BBC named Smith as a “Live Music Highlight of the Year” in 2014. Folk Radio UK has called her songs “refreshingly uncompromising… both brutal and beautiful”.
Her work has also been noticed by those within the music industry. She’s worked with great Canadian artist Martha Wainright while supporting musicians such as Unthanks and Athlete. For her latest single, she collaborated with Brad Albetta (Martha Wainright) and Andy Page (Alanis Morissette) to create her most daring single to date, “Contours”. The song highlights all the traits that have won people over. It is cinematic and stunning yet brooding and emotionally crushing all at the same time. It’s a song that could have dual meanings – our relationship with the environment around us or the relationship one has with someone else who is both his mountain and oppressor. This ability to evoke different feelings, images, and scenarios is just another reason why Smith is one of the UK’s emerging singer-songwriters. Maybe one day, she’ll have a musical or play written for her and where she is the star.
Hear the beautiful “Contours” below in this single premiere that we are pleased to feature today.
Fran Smith is a native of Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She released her self-titled, debut EP in 2013, and you can hear it in its entirety on SoundCloud. “Contours”, meanwhile, can be pre-ordered today on iTunes (UK | US | CAN)
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