By Phil Scarisbrick
Returning with her first new material of the year, Blackpool native Karima Francis’ new single – Orange Rose – feels like a sea change in sonic direction for the singer-songwriter. A heady blend of electronic atmospherics and reverb-soaked guitar picks provides an evocative backdrop for her meditation on the profound effect mental health can have on love.
The inital synth stabs feel like they were lifted straight off Alphaville’s Forever Young, but rather than bursting into cheesy eighties synth-pop, Francis’ voice takes the lead with a sublimely delivered vocal over a largely restrained backing. Where the verses are tinged with meloncholy, the chorus builds in defiance as she sings ‘Take my hand and never let it go/I will follow you through the gardens of Orange Rose‘. The pre-chorus falsetto segue of ‘Fly away‘ is yet another emotive edge to a sun-soaked song that sees its narrator sat in the shade.
As yet there are no announcements on any album, but this song builds on the promise of last year’s Shelf Life – also made with LA-based producer Tim Carr – to make us eager to hear what else they’ve got up their sleeves.
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