Bright Lights: How Francis And The Lights Shined In 2016

2016 has been full of surprises, especially in music. Each year we are presented with comebacks, impressive newbies and plenty of great music highlights but there are also a handful of artists that reinvent themselves, and one of those was Francis and the Lights.

Shooting to prominence mid-year through his hit Friends, Francis and the Lights is one of 2016’s most buzzed about artists and for good reason. Through collaborating with Chance The Rapper and Bon Iver, he’s been one of those artists that has well and truly ruled music in 2016. As an ode to why you should be taking note, here are five reasons how the man with this year’s most alluring dance moves made 2016 his own.

His collaboration Friends with Bon Iver & Kanye West is easily one of 2016’s biggest.

Do we really need to talk this song up anymore than it already is? Signed, sealed and delivered, Friends has been one of the hottest songs of 2016, giving a stamp of approval to the notion that Francis was about to be shot into the big time.

If it weren’t for this song and how endearing the clip is, then this little love letter to Francis perhaps would’ve not been penned. This was the song the one that re-started it all for Francis and gave him a clear runway for the album.

His live show is seriously worth checking out because damn he has some moves!

First of all, if this vision does make you want to get up and learn the Friends dance routine then 2016 must have really done a number on you. This vision is from his closing set at Justin Vernon’s glorious Eaux Claires Festival in August this year. Ignoring for a moment that joining him on stage are great mates Chance The Rapper and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Francis’ seriously impressive and erratic Friends dance moves translate just as great live.

We are just going to slide this little wish in while we can – imagine seeing Francis perform this live at say, hmmm, the amphitheater at night at Splendour In The Grass. Now that would be a moment!

His new album Farewell, Starlite! is one of this years best.

If you want to read a full rundown on just why this record deserves a place in every year end ‘Best Of’ list than head on over here. But here’s a quick snapshot of why the album is so much more than just Friends.

From the the record’s blaring opener See Her Out (Thats Just Life) to it’s second Kanye feature in the mesmerizing My City’s Gone, Farewell, Starlite! Feels like a body of work by a born again artist which is why it’s hand down one of the most dynamic sounding records 2016 has produced.

His list of friends is beyond enviable.

From the previously mentioned Justin Vernon a.k.a Bon Iver and Kanye West to Summer Friends collaborator Chance The Rapper, yeah his friendship group is low-key pretty darn enviable. It’s 2016 and all three of those names have had pretty successful years in music from releasing a stack of new tunes between them as well as a few surprises throughout the year, but there was one moment that really had us talking. It’s not every day Kanye gives his seal of approval but he did just that via that wacky radio interview with Annie Mac a few months back, saying that his collaboration Friends with Francis was the song of year.

We highly recommend checking out the full 24 minute interview, because it’s classic Yeezy. But if you are after his little summary of Francis and Friends then click the 21 minute mark.

He moved past the ‘Bon Iver 2.0’ comparisons.

You can be excused if you thought Francis was a newbie to the music game, but in fact he’s been producing under this alias since 2013 when he released his Like A Dream EP. We highly recommend you go check out his older material because it all still presents as an incredible listen.

Sure, there is a lot of merit in drawing comparisons between Justin Vernon and Francis because of the falsetto but as the year has gone on with the release of Farewell, Starlite!, Francis revealed his differences and his identity as his own artist. The best thing he could’ve done was put Bon Iver on Friends and confront the differences straight on. As soon as he sung, “I’m Francis,” it was pretty clear he’s no copy.