Enigmatic Sydney multi-instrumentalist Leroy Francis woos the ‘boohas’ and ‘goohas’ with the video for latest single, ‘Going Steady’, the second taste of his upcoming self-titled debut EP, out Friday April 20.
Taking things down a notch from rambunctious debut ‘Carry Me’, ‘Going Steady’ is a crumpled love letter sealed with a lipstick kiss, dedicated to a lover that may or may not exist. The sweet and sour ode to an imaginary high-heeled sweetheart was recorded in an old shed on the farm where Leroy Francis lived for a time after moving home to Australia from NYC. “It was run down and full of spiders but I could spend my nights watching horror films on a projector. Having no means of transport and kilometers away from any other people. In complete isolation loneliness set in but I knew my sweetheart was out there” he says.
Here, a woozy and romantic Francis rolls out of bed to showcase a more tender side to his work. Intimate and almost conversational in tone, his sedated melodies drift easily atop masterfully restrained and evocative guitar work. The song is paired with the schizophrenic and colourful acid-trip style video, packed wall-to-wall with abstract imagery, directed by Francis and his pal, Ed Triglone. Dressed as The Devil in fleeting glimpses, Francis puts his heart on the line when he admits shyly in his signature punch-drunk drawl, “I might ask her to go steady”.
Entirely performed by Francis, recorded by David Tolomai (Beach House, Future Islands) and produced by Dean Tuza (Mossy, Stella Donnelly), the EP’s six tracks hit like a simultaneous kiss on the cheek and punch to the gut. Travelling through themes of love and lust, raucous guitar and propulsive beats are led by Francis’ dreamy vocals that ring like honey coated gravel. At first light, ‘Comatose’ kicks off proceedings with a relentless and syncopated krautrock hypno-rhythm and guitars that screech and squeal in the distance. Francis proves he is a glutton for punishment in thumper ‘Carry Me’, a rambunctious and beer-skolling house party anthem and emerges shy and wistful in ‘Going Steady’. Penultimate neo-psychedelic heartbreaker, ‘Intoxicated Dreams’ is a desperate depiction of a doomed love and in the EP’s autobiographical closer, ‘Sleeping Ain’t Easy’, a delirious Francis takes us under the sheets with a sex-laden and almost whispered croon like a punch-drunk Elvis.
Leroy Francis’ debut EP is out Friday April 20 via World State Recordings, ‘Going Steady’ is OUT NOW.
PRAISE FOR LEROY FRANCIS
‘Sounds like garage-rock glory’
– SPIN (USA)
‘Carry Me finds a balance between a gritty garage rock track with some post-punk sensibilities, today’s Juice also possesses some subtle, more saccharine undertones that seep out between the strings of Francis’ whiney but vibrant melodic guitar.’
– Freshly Squeezed, I OH YOU
‘Newcomer Leroy Francis sounds like a hypo-tonic Ariel Pink rolling around in gravel.’
– STACK Magazine