Song: Karima Francis – Say review

By Phil Scarisbrick

Over the last twelve months or so, Karima Francis has slowly been drip feeding us the new music that she recorded after relocating to Los Angeles. The previous singles – Orange Rose, Shelf Life and Carelessness Causes Fire – all had clear threads that bound them together. Their lush, sun-soaked soundtracks were used to deliver complex, introspective lyrics that gave us unfettered access to Francis’ lived experiences. Now we get another look at what these sessions birthed, and while the same self-reflection exists in the lyrics, Say’s music feels more like the last flecks of light dissipating over the Pacific ocean as the Sun retreats at the end of the day.

Dealing with the ongoing effects of CPTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), effects that were only amplified by the events of the last year and half and the strain that can inflict on personal relationships, it is clear that there has been a profound impact on Francis that many will be able to empathise with. Though the soundtrack pulls back in terms of intensity from the previous singles, the vocal is barbed with emotion. The almost lackadaisical delivery at the start of each verse is replaced by a breathy, exacerbated intonation as she begs ‘Say if you want me to go / Say if you want me to leave / Say if you want me to go away’ in the chorus. 

A gorgeous slide guitar is imbued within the soundtrack to add a subtle warmth to the loose sounding rhythm section. With each passing single, it is clear that we are on a journey with Francis, and building towards something special at the end of the road. 

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