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Oct
09
Fran Smith with Emily Rockarts
Monday, October 9th, 2017
8:30 PM
Fran Smith arrived in Toronto this summer in search of an adventure. Originally from Yorkshire in the north of England, she is an artist whose passion and individuality floods out of every line she sings. And what a singer! Described by The Guardian's Simon Hattenstone as "romantic, sensual and angry - often all at the same time", her songs are delivered with soul and bite, in an unashamedly regional accent. Happily bucking the current trend for bland boys with beige lyrics and acoustic guitars, Fran exposes her life's dramas to her audience with disarming honesty, intimacy and intelligence, teasing the darkness and beauty out of every heartbreak and love affair. Her lyrics are sensuous and direct; sometimes witty and acerbic, sometimes melancholic, sometimes cosmic and other-worldly in the vein of Joanna Newsom, Florence Welch or Stevie Nicks. A mesmerising solo performer, Fran has performed in the US, and at venues and festivals all over the UK. She was named a 'Live Music Highlight of the Year' by the BBC, and she has toured with the likes of Martha Wainwright, Athlete and Po' Girl. Fran was invited to perform at the televised 'Live in Hyde Park' festival in central London, where she generated more online buzz than any other performer on the bill. She has played live sessions for BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4, and Radio 6 Music declared on-air: "Look out for Fran Smith - she's going to be a big star!" Fran self-released her eponymous debut EP in 2013, and all four tracks received significant national and regional radio play in the UK, despite being released without a manager, record label or publicist - an extremely rare feat in today's music industry! She repeated this DIY approach on her follow-up single, 'Contours', in 2016 - a slow and sensual track which she recorded whilst staying in Martha Wainwright's house in Brooklyn, with musicians Brad Albetta and Rob Moose (Rufus Wainwright, Bon Iver, ANOHNI, St. Vincent). It too received national BBC airplay, and Canadian blog The Revue called Contours "her most daring single to date... cinematic and stunning, yet brooding and emotionally crushing all at the same time". Newly settled in the west end of Toronto, Fran is having fun exploring the city, working on new material and playing her first Canadian shows!