I am often curious as to the feelings one has when releasing their first album. Sure, there are interviews and candid expressions given by the musical masses about the nerves and the like, but on a personal level it must be an incredible and terrifying experience; that is, if done with all ones heart.
Much scarier, I can only imagine, is the musician who “tries something” on their first release because, let’s face it, if your sound comes off too scattered and abstract, it would most likely be met with quite the resistance.
Now, the pairing of French and English is nothing new in music, but trying to incorporate two languages on a first full-length album is a roll of the dice. And for South-France, by way of Vermont, singer/songwriter Francesca Blanchard, that musical bilingual chance has paid off.
With a coffee shop-like intimacy Blanchard pours a linguistically alternating twelve song cup of poetry that ripples with subtle dynamic on a glass sea of acoustic emotion. Where captivating meets a soundtrack for life’s reflective moments is where you’ll find deux visions.
The slow roll of the record plays well within the four-corners of mellow but spares just enough change to keep it from becoming dull. At 23 years old and a first record, this is quite the feat. From the initial strum of “Rame,” which dances with Blanchard’s French lyrics before coming in with down-tempo drum and electric guitar, my attention became drawn to the echoing heart that beats within her sound. As if in a crowded restaurant, on a small stage up against a wall, dim lighting and a simple set-up has a packed house speechless watching a singer, who refuses to make eye contact with a soul, instead she is lost in a place far from her barstool, deux visions captures a very special moment in time that lays softly upon the soul of the listener while lighting a very personal path in each of us. The varying topics of love, life, and home sweetly brought to life in the record drift in a romance language that knows no borders.
Francesca Blanchard’s deux visions is an embodiment of a singer/songwriter who was given a chance, is very grateful for the opportunity, and as authentic as they come. A musician can only do so much. At some point their art has to be thrown to the wind and they can only hope for the best.
For Francesca Blanchard she has done just that with deux visions. But if I were her, I wouldn’t be afraid. This is one record that absolutely soars.
Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor of Nanobot Rock.