12 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Most alt-country artists (Jeff Tweedy, Ryan Adams, Rhett Miller, etc.) usually drop a few good twangy albums before taking off their boots to walk over the Americana stepping stone towards other singer-songwriter sounding pastures. Robert Francis makes the leap on his impressive sophomore album, Before Nightfall. He punctuates this overt stylistic morphing on the title track from 2007’s One By One which appears here sounding much different, now void of any country tinges and echoing hints of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire,” with the darkened piano parts and that lone drumstick keeping time on the snare’s rim. The only vestige of twang appears on the pensive ballad “Climb a Mountain” where Francis’ family friend Ry Cooder lends some of his gauzy slide-guitar. The rest of Before Nightfall plays like a post-adulterous cigarette; the opening “Darkness” and the lovelorn “Junebug” are shadowy and satiating, especially the latter with its memorable falsettos and the more passionate moments in the former where Francis’ voice breaks like a young Bono.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Most alt-country artists (Jeff Tweedy, Ryan Adams, Rhett Miller, etc.) usually drop a few good twangy albums before taking off their boots to walk over the Americana stepping stone towards other singer-songwriter sounding pastures. Robert Francis makes the leap on his impressive sophomore album, Before Nightfall. He punctuates this overt stylistic morphing on the title track from 2007’s One By One which appears here sounding much different, now void of any country tinges and echoing hints of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire,” with the darkened piano parts and that lone drumstick keeping time on the snare’s rim. The only vestige of twang appears on the pensive ballad “Climb a Mountain” where Francis’ family friend Ry Cooder lends some of his gauzy slide-guitar. The rest of Before Nightfall plays like a post-adulterous cigarette; the opening “Darkness” and the lovelorn “Junebug” are shadowy and satiating, especially the latter with its memorable falsettos and the more passionate moments in the former where Francis’ voice breaks like a young Bono.

TITLE TIME
2:54
3:58
3:25
3:44
3:21
3:43
4:06
2:53
5:17
2:50
3:44
3:35

About Robert Francis

Raised in Los Angeles as the youngest member of a music-filled household, indie folk singer/songwriter Robert Francis benefited from a diverse musical climate thanks to his pianist/producer father, his songwriting sister Juliette Commagere, and his Mexican mother, who sang native ranchera songs around the house. Family friend and acclaimed stringmaster Ry Cooder gave Francis his first guitar at age nine; seven years later, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante accepted Francis as his only guitar pupil. The unique education paid off as Francis released his 2007 debut, the musically diverse One by One, at the young age of 19. One by One was a richly layered album, filled with lush orchestrations and heaps of instruments. It also served as Francis' launching pad, netting him a modest audience as well as a major-label contract with Atlantic Records. When it came time to record a second album, however, the songwriter chose to scale things back. He assembled a small band and recorded Before Nightfall in one week, with Oasis producer Dave Sardy lending his help to the project. His third studio long-player, Strangers in the First Place, arrived in 2012, followed in 2014 by the Aeronaut-issued Heaven as Robert Francis & the Night Tide. ~ Andrew Leahey

  • ORIGIN
    Los Angeles, CA
  • BORN
    September 25, 1987

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