By Phil Scarisbrick
The fickle nature of the music industry is such that what it produces is so easily disposable. This belies the real lives and experiences of the people who create it. Behind every passing impression or momentary experience can be hundreds, if not thousands of hours of work to compose, perform, produce and manufacture them. Paired with this apathy is an industry that can be at best fleeting in its interest in an artist, and at worst predatory, leaving indelible marks on those in the firing line. Karima Francis’ latest single – Carelessness Causes Fire – doesn’t so much take aim at the industry, as offer a cautionary tale of how someone can be consumed by the darkness that lurks within it.
‘In the smoke of the industry/I’m building my home all my dreams’, is an opening line that leaves little ambiguity as to the direction the story is going in. The vivid imagery of ‘a puppet without strings’ and ‘stairs that are just some jagged things’ combine with a soundtrack that sits somewhere between Future Islands’ Thrill and The War On Drugs’ Lost In The Dream. It would be easy to see the results as a resignation that the trauma faced has won, but there is also a resistance that is palpable throughout. Francis’ voice builds from a hushed, weathered delivery to a battle cry that sucker punches the listener before retreating into the smoke once more.
The deeply personal nature of this track is overt from the outset, but also has a more universal message of the destructive nature of bottling up your emotions. Whatever traumatic experiences Francis has faced in the industry, we can only be thankful that they haven’t been enough to stop her making music, because the world would be a much poorer place without songs of this quality.
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