London based soul artist Ruby Francis releases her self-produced, forthcoming debut album ‘Archives’.
Residing in North London, the singer-songwriter was fed a colourful appetite of Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Earth Wind & Fire. It was her parent’s purchase of an “adult-sized e.piano” at the age of 11, that sent her down the rabbit hole of song writing, chord progressions, and production. Inspired by funk legends such as Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder, Francis generates a 70s R&B and neo-soul sound, with modern production techniques spread throughout the album.
Downtempo tracks like ‘Let me in’ and ‘Procrastinate’ show off Francis’s luscious, soulful vocals, and her ability to produce sensual tones by utilising bassy percussion and soft piano arrangements. Whilst ‘Jasmine’ and ‘Disconnect’ allow her 70s dance/funk influence to shine by generating a more up-tempo, yet perpetually chill disco vibe. Additionally, Francis’s most successful song, ‘What’s the problem’, provides a funky bass line with smooth vocals and hooks, (accompanied by Kadeem Tyrell) and a groovy combination of synth chords.
Throughout the album, Francis produces some amazingly unique drum and percussion lines, utilising both deep electronic pads (‘Jasmine’) and traditional jazz cymbal fills (‘Stuck right here’). The tone of each song varies as each track was written at a different time in her life, from emotional breakups and mental health difficulties to wild fantasies and lively experiences. Francis’s production and vocal skills allow her to complement the melody and feel of each song with the lyrics effectively.
Listen to ‘Archives’ in full below
Photo credit: credit Nathan Wolf Grace