There are people who can sing, there are those who can do it very well – and yet there is another category: that of those who can take the emotional underpinning of a song, wrap it in a powerful delivery, and hit you square in the face with it. Their singing takes you by the lapel and commands your full, undivided attention. Sol Franci can do both.
The daughter of a talented Argentinean musician – multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Enrique ‘Henry’ Franci -, Sol grew up around musicians from the time most girls first ask Santa for a Barbie. Singing and dancing lessons were not only normal but were facts of life, as their house was home to a constant parade of iconic names of the country’s burgeoning music scene.
However, as it is often the case, music was so commonplace a matter in her life that Sol didn’t think much about it. She was cast in a few musicals, collaborated with some artists and by and large went on with her studies without thinking that she truly had a gift. Right around the same time, Charlie T (The Hours Strange, Électriciennes) had been auditioning singers in London and Shanghai to bring to life a set of songs he’d been writing for Électriciennes. Problem was, these new songs didn’t sound quite just like their typical work: they were a bit too bare, a bit too personal, too close to the bone – songs he’d written years ago but had to walk away from. At least until a healing process had let distance set in. Now, finally, he felt he was ready to tackle these songs, and that the time was right for it. But he couldn’t find a voice that he felt could deliver the emotion and feeling that were contained in the songs.
Frustrated with the lack of progress, he turned to Henry, with whom he’d written the songs, for advise. Henry had built the strongest melodies and the music. From the get go Henry had no doubts: they should involve Sol in the project.
Charlie was on board with trying, but the idea was far from straightforward: Sol was three weeks away from graduation, and four weeks away from relocating to New York. Which meant that the full project would have to be built, rehearsed and recorded in less than a month – a month in which Sol would have to present her thesis, move to another country, all while Charlie would – incidentally – be in Istanbul, miles away from his studio.
But there are people who can sing, and people who can take the naked underlining of an emotional state, layer it on top of a chord progression, and smack the living daylights out of your senses. When Charlie heard the first demos, there was no further questions about the course of action. Never mind the time, or the lack thereof, never mind the studies, the sleepless nights, the time-difference, the trilateral axis of Buenos Aires, New York and Istanbul – it was all ‘damn the torpedos and full speed ahead’.
With the impeccable taste of Henry providing Spanish guitar on all tracks, the result is a dramatic work of heightened intensity – where Charlie provides the modern aural setting for the voice and guitar to dance and have their interplay. The melodies roll out effortless in Sol’s delivery despite their complexity, and – somewhat betraying her age -, she can channel the bitterness and melancholy that Charlie, with many more years lived, meant to capture.
Their work was recorded in Shanghai and Buenos Aires, and mixed in São Paulo – with obsessive attention to detail – by Matheus Antunes. The result is a series of rare, powerful and dramatic pop songs – in the best tradition of what popular music once was. They are rare in the sense that they are raw, naked emotions. But also in the fact that these are rather unusual songs in today’s standards; songs that do not hide behind or use the laborious production as a platform to raise above themselves. These are songs that will grab your attention no matter your age, your country, your taste or your state of mind.
Eat/Kiss is proud to add Sol Franci to its roster, and we can’t be more excited to hear the new heights to which she will doubtedlessly take her talent. Because when she sings, you will listen. You have been forewarned.