Stream Aoife Nessa Frances’s “Land Of No Junction”
It’s either a very good or very bad thing, I suppose, when a record reminds you of just about everything under the sun. Good if it happens to remind you of things that make you happy. Bad if you need to try and distill it down into something you can accurately describe.
Aoife Nessa Frances’s debut record Land of No Junction is a prime example. It’s a lush, intimate, and beautifully composed collection of folk and rock songs and not only do bits and pieces of it conjure glimpses of other bands and other styles, it also evokes less tangible but equally compelling connotations to nature. It’s possible those senses are assisted by knowledge of the fact that Aoife stems from Ireland and that the singer’s traditional-sounding Gaelic name connotes the bucolic Irish countryside. But it’s also possible that the music itself does this on its own, hinting at craggy cliff sides, turbulent waves, and overcast fields.
This is no traditional Irish music though, to be sure. It’s more attuned to acid folk and rock of the sixties and seventies as well as more modern pop and alternative rock than it is, say, a band like Lankum or even Brigid Mae Power. Some stellar guitar work from collaborator Cian Nugent certainly helps with the rock references, and the synths, drums, and string accompaniments all come together seamlessly to form a mercurial and hard-to-pin-down sound. Frances’s songwriting also lends to the mystery, coming through crystalline in some cases while in others shrouding heartfelt meanings that seem to fall just out of reach.
It’s a record that I highly recommend you listen to yourself and form your own opinion as, clearly, it’s not something that lends itself to summarization. You can stream Land of No Junction below and if you are as besotted as I am, purchase the record via Ba Da Bing! here.