Francis Bowie - Hey It's Not Just Me - Stereo Stickman

Francis Bowie Hey It’s Not Just Me


Introducing the return of an iconic Francis Bowie, this album boldly employs sensational songwriting and musicianship, to a refreshingly thoughtful, provocative and hypnotic degree.

Perhaps his finest project to date, Hey It’s Not Just Me brings things back down to the ground, for a deeply moving look at the many thoughts and feelings that haunt us as humans.

Emerging in direct connection with 2019’s album Hey It’s Just Me, the new project spins a melancholic, reflective web of introspection and awe. From the outset, In My Dreams presents a sense of poetic contemplation and longing for understanding.

These aspects of anxious consideration grow stronger throughout. However, as per the colourful imagery and performative confidence of Francis Bowie, things aren’t entirely doom and gloom. While the titles and topics delve into hardships and self-confrontation, the music often maintains an uplifting edge of optimism.

In example, for Uninvited, this bounce of a groove dramatically juxtaposes the ‘war and death’ of the lyrics. We’re into the meat of the mindset, ‘Watch me come undone’ resounding as both relatable and rueful. At the same time, we’re gifted an undeniably catchy and provocative listen. Francis Bowie the songwriter – always impressive, captivating and memorable – refuses to falter. Across a multitude of albums and releases, originality and skill continue to shine with unpredictable yet unmistakable brightness.

Throughout Hey It’s Not Just Me, the musicality remains interesting and immersive, both genre-free and timeless in its retro flavours and clarity combined. The lyrics continuously highlight a compelling series of musings, the likes of No One Is Listening and Click Clock Tik Tok delivering a striking balance between heartbreak and possibility; the former accessing the concerns and freedoms of many a modern artist.

“Nobody knows me, I find freedom in that…

Nobody sees me, but I see everything so clear…”

Aptly contemporary in its references but also traditionally poetic in a beautifully unique manner, this album holds close to the magic implied by the Bowie name, but simultaneously envelops listeners in a completely new realm of artistic wonder.

Too Many Doors is a mighty example of this fusion of traits, melodically fresh and metaphorically alluring; an easy favourite. Then the stripped-back vocal intimacy and impactful relevance of Little Soldier offers an impossible to ignore sense of presence and realness. Francis the poet connects in an up-front and personal way, creating a fearlessly live-style situation that grips and provokes.

“Little Soldier… Don’t think, don’t think, keep killing…”

Recapturing the upbeat brightness of full musicianship, I Hypnotize Myself is superb. With a rising melody and chord pattern, the song is choir-like and brilliantly original both lyrically and musically. It’s also gentle in performance and just as thought-provoking as the former track.

An Americana-kissed Baby Boys follows, delivering a seemingly personal account prior to the birth of our protagonist’s twin boys. It promises a melodic, ambient and enchanting listen, which also connects for its thoughtful honesty. Another highlight.

At the penultimate moment, the darkness and sci-fi-soaked tones of The Core reach towards the alt-rock bands of a simpler era, making fine use of first-person addressing to again blend hopeful notes with the outright suffering and struggles of the self.

Perhaps more distinctly than ever shedding light on the inner works of the mind, in unison with an observational fascination with the external world, this album presents Francis Bowie in a whole new way. The ideas and moods throughout get the listener enchanted and engaged, considering the images and ideas almost as deeply as the artist themself. The fact that our closing song is the simple, looping, hypnotic and moving How The Sun Comes Up seems to encapsulate and conclude that journey in a profound and frankly unforgettable fashion.

In short, an album that may feel mildly familiar, but much more notably unusual, insightful, and fiercely engaging from start to finish.

Download Hey It’s Not Just Me here. Check out Francis Bowie on Facebook, Tumblr & Instagram or visit the Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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