Edward Francis is a young Northern Territory-based multi-instrumentalist who produces wonderful genre-bending electronica from his bedroom in Alice Springs. His captivating songs are layered with emotive harmonies, rich sonic textures and distinct flourishes of saxophone. He's destined for greatness. All hail the King in the North!
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
The music I make as Edward Francis feels like a culmination of the different music projects I have been involved in throughout my life. All of the music I have been involved with making informs what I do now. Whether it's being a guitarist and playing dodgy covers in year 8, running a pop mash-up choir in Northcote, or playing saxophone and composing for instrumental ensembles, all of these experiences have contributed to the sounds I am making at the moment. Producing songs in a bedroom, and recording instruments into a laptop allows you a huge amount of freedom to experiment and play around with sounds. You basically have unending amounts of time to add and takeaway layers of noise in order to try and find a combination that works for you. It is something I find very liberating musically.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
I get inspired by experiences of music or performances that are able to completely immerse you. It could be listening to the beautiful slow builds of a Nils Frahm track that you listen to in your bedroom with the lights down and a glass of wine, or a marathon dance session at Rainbow Serpent to Super Flu and Marcel Dettmann. Sometimes this experience happens when you go to a particularly good live show or performance and sometimes it happens when you put headphones on and listen to something you’ve heard a hundred times before as you ride your bike home late at night. Having these type of experiences always makes me want to make more music and in doing so to try and to create some kind of immersive experience for others.
What can punters expect from an Edward Francis live show?
I am currently working on my first live show as Edward Francis for the Wide Open Spaces Festival at Ross River in May. The process of translating the songs I have produced into a live performance is an interesting one as the tracks weren’t created with live performance in mind. The show currently involves just me with lots of live looping of saxophones keyboards and lots of percussion samples. Im excited to make it happen, but I can’t definitively tell you what to expect. I can guarantee that I will be there, on a stage, and I’m gonna be singing for you.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
The best advice I have had came from one of my saxophone teachers at uni. He told me it doesn’t matter what type of music you make, just make music you are passionate about and try to do it as well as you can.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Keep Me Close by Brightly
. I am a sucker for a well written love song. One that speaks of love as a kind of complete, hyper-real and all encompassing state of being. And if you happen to listen to that song at a particularly vulnerable time, you may find tears falling out the front of your face. Brightly’s track Keep Me Close did that for me. Charlie sings the song so beautifully and lovingly that it transports you back to when you had that feeling, or digs up the feeling from somewhere still inside you. Catch them at the right moment, and I am sure it could make others weep.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
That Was A Loving House (Uone Remix)
- Worlds End Press. I have spent a number of evenings dancing like a maniac at World’s End Press shows. They have uploaded a bunch of pretty excellent remixes of their tracks. Uone’s remix of That Was A Loving House is most excellent and will keep the party rolling.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
It was the 3rd annual “Blacken The Globe” Metal festival in Alice Springs. Despite not being in possession of a faded black t-shirt emblazoned with the gothic text of a band name, I attended and really enjoyed the event. It’s what I like about a place like Alice, people are open to attending gigs of all styles and are going to them with an open mind.
Tell us about the bands or people in the NT music community that inspire you.
I have only been living in Alice Springs for about 15 months, but have been impressed by the arts and music scene in town. The Bush Bands Bash was a seriously inspiring event. Seeing excellent and passionate bands from remote communities across Australia and watching how their music brings people together is a pretty special thing. And there’s the women who run Desert Divas. They are a bunch of talented singer songwriters in their own right, that dedicate their time to mentoring young woman and encouraging them to find their voice and perform in front of crowds. I find it inspiring to see people using their music skills to contribute to their communities. I also don’t think I could live somewhere that didn’t provide a dance floor outlet, so I’m grateful to have met Kyran Smith and Ollie Ollino. Together, these guys form the DJ collective “Cutlery”. Cutlery supply Alice Springs with top quality disco/house and techno parties. Ollie (AKA Brother Moonbug) is pretty much Alice Springs go-to dance floor provider here, and he kills it every time.
What are your plans for 2015?
I plan to be in Alice Springs for the rest of 2015 and to put out some new tracks before the years end. I will be working on my live show pretty heavily also and look forward to playing some shows back in my hometown of Melbourne at some point. Nothing is set in stone, so the plan is just to keep working hard and to stay excited about generating new work.