Stream: Robert Francis, ‘Love Is a Chemical’

by Kevin Bronson on March 20, 2014


Over three albums, the first released when he was still a teenager, Robert Francis has proven a special, though slightly incrutable, talent among folk singers. His mellifluous vocals, knack for unpredictable arrangements and exacting lyrics have made those albums true long-players rather than singles machines, although “Junebug,” off 2009′s “Before Nightfall,” did well in Europe. [We long ago stopped trying to figure out why Robert Francis can draw a bigger crowd in France than he can in his Los Angeles hometown.] He has a poet’s worldview, which doesn’t always synch with the demands of being a musician and a frontman, and in 2012, while touring in support of “Strangers in the First Place,” Francis retreated and nearly quit music. Sidetracked by drugs and alcohol, he shaved his head and moved to Michigan before the creative juices started flowing again. “I had to lose myself in order to rediscover who I was in the beginning,” he says. Eventually gathering up his new songs and then a backing band (the Night Tide), Francis made his fourth album “Heaven” (due June 3 on Aeronaut Records). The first single “Love Is Just a Chemical” ranks among his most straight-ahead songs; it’s also a gentle reminder that when choosing chemicals, love is not a bad place to start.

||| Stream: “Love Is a Chemical”

||| Live: Robert Francis & the Night Tide play July 17 at the Troubadour.

||| Previously: Live at the Troubadour, “Some Things Never Change,” “Junebug”


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Neil March 20, 2014 at 7:35 pm

This is pretty poppy… and what the hell does moving to Michigan have to do with anything?

Kevin Bronson March 20, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Sometimes a change of scenery is good thing.

Marielle March 20, 2014 at 8:58 pm

love this and love him

Myriam Assaadi March 21, 2014 at 6:07 am

I can’t tell you how excited I am to see Robert perform live this summer. Love this song

Brian March 21, 2014 at 10:38 am

Glad he’s back! Excited to hear the rest of the new stuff.

ottavy March 22, 2014 at 4:12 am

juste génial !

Marie March 23, 2014 at 4:23 am

Go to see Robert at Nouveau Casino in Paris on May 15. Can’t wait :-)

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