Photo by Rose Bernhard
Chicago's Hannah Frances is making folk music that skirts the mainstream but is firmly in the alt-folk world. Her latest single, "Floodplain," is a song that is absolutely beautiful and stunning at times but a challenging listen at others. It's an odd mixture of Nick Drake and Fiona Apple's Fetch the Bolt Cutters. There is an underlying feeling that Frances is trying to make a hit adult contemporary song, but keeps getting pulled into the odder side of folk. There is unique instrumentation used at various points in the song, and Frances' vocals occasionally meander off away from the tempo of the music without warning. It's one of the more interesting and compelling takes on the genre this year.
Hannah Frances says of her new single:
“Floodplains are bodies of water composed of sediment deposited during flooding and erosion. As I was nearing the end of a grief cycle and releasing narratives that were keeping me stagnant in my growth, images of floodplains, riverbeds, and dams kept arising from me. Reckoning with the ways I had lost myself in relationship, I felt like I was scraping the earth with my bare hands trying to remember wholeness again, loosening the grips of my heart to let go, and seeing myself as a birch tree stripped bare with moss growing over through maturation. Belting in a resonating mantra, ‘I know too much to love that way again, know too well to lose my way again, know too well to give away again, know too well to know when it’s not real love.’––then pensively reflecting, ‘I want to be wanted, don’t want to be forgotten, but want to forget. I want to be shaped by the love I have, not haunted by the lack’––I am begging to be released, begging myself to release. Writing this song changed me in many ways, opening up cathartic pathways for my creative processing.”
You can listen to "Floodplain" below. The single is available now via Ruination Records. For more on Hannah Frances, check out the artist's website.