Aoife Nessa Frances builds a lush, otherworldly landscape of psych-pop on her latest single “Fantasy”.
The new track was written as the Irish singer-songwriter was learning to read Tarot cards and took particular inspiration from the High Priestess card. Originally recorded during the sessions for her most recent acclaimed album ‘Protector,’ the track floats effortlessly, conveying a serenity like early morning, anchored by Frances’ deep voice and mesmerising flourishes of harp.
Frances says: “With “Fantasy’” I took inspiration from the High Priestess Tarot card. I was learning to read tarot at the time of writing the song, spending time with each card so that I could soak in meaning. The High Priestess depicts a woman sitting on a throne, between two pillars symbolising her role as a mediator between the different worlds. Drawing on this imagery, I wrote “Fantasy” as a reflection of her essence and symbolism. She embodies the bridge between two worlds, connecting the realms of intuition and the conscious mind. Each lyric connects to her and her surroundings: swimming between the pillars as a form of duality, standing at the threshold, guarding the secrets to the subconscious mind, darkness and light, femininity and masculinity. Water as emotion; representing the depths of the unconscious mind, bringing a sense of fluidity and adaptability, emphasising the importance of embracing change and allowing emotions to flow naturally. The falling fruit as a symbol for change and transformation, the pomegranate from the cards imagery, a symbol for sexuality and regeneration. Writing ‘Fantasy’ took me on my own journey of self-discovery, connecting me to my own intuition. Méabh McKenna’s harp throughout the song acts like a flowing river, a constant presence that underscores the meaning. While “Fantasy” was written during the same period as ‘Protector,’ I decided to keep it separate because it occupies a unique space for me.”
Earlier this month, Frances released two covers for Aquarium Drunkard’s Lagniappe Session series, performing “Always Something” by Yo La Tengo and “Shipbuilding” by Elvis Costello. Listen here.
Frances also released an additional track from the ‘Protector’ sessions – “Automatic Love” – earlier this year, listen here.
Frances’ music is submerged in the sonic landscapes of psychedelic, experimental pop and ambient folk. Flecks of everything from Broadcast and Amen Dunes to Patti Smith, Radiohead and Alice Coltrane – though ultimately a sound entirely Aoife’s own. ‘Protector’ earned acclaim from Pitchfork (7.5), the Guardian, the Times, Bandcamp Daily + more. In the last year she has toured with Destroyer, The Weather Station, Alex Cameron and The New Pornographers. ‘Protector’ was nominated for Irish Album of the Year at the RTÉ Choice Music Prize ceremony.
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Praise for Aoife Nessa Frances:
“The follow-up to ‘Land of No Junction’ reaps lucidity from family bonding and fleeing the city in search of peace. With it, Frances’ psych-folk soliloquies arrive like postcards from a friend who’s just beginning to open up.” – Pitchfork (7.5)
“With the boundless reflection presented on Protector, there is every reason to place confidence in Aoife Nessa Frances getting you through the swell.” – Aquarium Drunkard
“Arresting…dreamy” – NYLON
“a magnetic, psychedelic spaciness to it that recalls artists like Tame Impala or Crumb.” – FLOOD