Francis and the Lights
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Francis and the Lights

Band Pop Soul


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Nice Moves"

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me he'd seen an enigmatic and impressive show at Mercury Lounge, put on by a band called Francis and the Lights. My friend basically characterized this show as "a skinny...guy doing something between a Prince and a James Brown impression."

Now that I've seen Francis perform, I don't think I'd really agree with that characterization, and maybe my friend wouldn't either. But in some ways it makes sense that would be your first thought, and as comparisons go, it's no insult. Whatever the case, when Francis and the Lights play The Annex this Sunday, you'd do well to pay the $8 cover and show up.

Of course, you won't actually be going to see Francis and the Lights perform--you'll be going to see Francis perform. He plays with legitimate, quality musicians, don't get me wrong; but this guy is a mysterious and enthralling person to watch, and your focus will be on him for the duration of the show.

Your eyes will be glued to Francis because he's always conducting, in every sense of the word. In between leading the mic stand around stage, hooting into it with a precise but soulful falsetto, and trying to decide if he can dance, sing, and play piano or keyboard at once without coming out of his skin, the svelte young man directs his band like a drill sergeant. His intense looks and curt gestures can only be softened by immediate and musically perfect compliance. You never know exactly what he's looking for, and I suspect his band mates don't either, at least until they've played with him a while, but you know when he gets it, because he closes his eyes, a sweet, almost secretive smile creeps up on his face, and he goes back to channeling whatever it is that makes him dance like a maniac who's had lessons, and sing like a man possessed.

At first you sort of wonder if the guy is for real, and to be honest, I've never hung out with him, so I don't know how much is a stage act and how much is just who he is. Either way, it's fun to watch. The music itself has tons of in-the-pocket funk, delivered by whistling synthesizers, spare but heady basslines, syncopated, sometimes programmed rhythms, and creamy guitar. In terms of feel, it's music for dancing to vertically or horizontally, if you know what I'm saying. But that's just me--you ought to make up your own mind. You can download his EP for free on his website and go to his show. He's currently working on an album and as near as I can tell, when it's completed, Francis and the Lights will be delivering some nice moves, and killer tracks. Keep an ear out. - (Staten Island newspaper music blog)


"A Modern Promise" is coming soon.
"Striking EP" is available at



Currently at a loss for words...