Gardenia is the uniquely conceptual EP from artist and songwriter Jeremy Francoeur. Beginning with Flora, the music appears as a gently retro soundscape – delicate keys and synths meet softly with the artist’s own easy delivery of the melody. Alongside of this the beat has a pop lightness about it that suits the mood of the song and its sentiment really well. The song connects more and more as it progresses, this metaphor for life has depth and with each new string of images the ideas start to take shape more clearly. There’s also a notable move from the optimistic to the melancholy, adding to the artistry and really making this quite a striking opening song.
If the opener had a slight Frou Frou or even solo Imogen Heap vibe, For You furthers that and fuses it with a poetically reflective touch of songwriting and a distinctly memorable chorus section. The personal touch adds a lot, the loving nature of the words, the passion in the voice, the intensity of the music. The generally calm mood is maintained at all times, but there’s still a darkness on occasion – the hard times are delicately presented, and this makes it all the more appealing. There’s a lot of talk of the mind and the separation of the self and the world, and this is likely to connect with a number of audiences. The unique nature of the music and the characterful sound of the leading voice really help seal the deal.
The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Face is a totally captivating and provocative song. The lyrics move through various issues and ideas that feel extremely close to home right now. The verses deal with those things we sweep under the rug, the hook then brightens up musically and deals with the central concept of the song. It’s a really interesting, expressive piece of music and writing, so much evolution takes place within. The chorus section is instantly addictive, a big moment, really clever and intriguing.
There are several instances throughout this project in which you can quite clearly hear the instrumentation being crafted. Tantalus is a strong example, it’s as if the set is being prepared live for you, the keys punched out right there in the moment. The songwriting alongside of this opens up so many unexpected opportunities to consider and think things through. There are equal parts colour and complexity, and all of this adds to the inherent originality.
Petrichor is a pleasant word in itself and the song that accompanies this title feels beautifully similar to that of the first drops of rain after a drought. The music pours out lightly yet at a fast pace. It’s a manic sort of gentleness, the first half of the song being entirely instrumental and uplifting, the latter half spacing things out a little – adding further to the story line and the scene, introduces the human touch, the once again unexpected element. The energy rises higher, snippets of lyrics draw your attention and provoke thought. There’s plenty on this EP to get you thinking outside of the box.
One More brings back the intimacy of a personal story line. The lyrics are notably open and honest, intensely so in fact – it’s as if you’re hearing a private reading from the diary of a stranger. The lines intrigue and connect in a bizarrely familiar way. These are like the most chaotic and uncontrollable thoughts we all experience from time to time. Jeremy Francoeur takes all of this and builds something beautifully expressive from it. One More is a song that bears listening to a few times over to really take it all in.
The creatively free exploration of music and ideas on this EP is a pleasure to stumble upon. The songs are impossible to predict, yet despite this they feel comforting to have play. It’s soothing to hear the inner workings of an artist’s mind, particularly those moments that so many of us try hard to keep inside. It offers a sense of secret togetherness, in a way. This ongoing theme of growth and natural life is underlined subtly, though certainly, at every step.
Home (Demo) brings things to a close with a hopeful and memorable melody line. The lyrics again take you aback briefly, begging you to press play again, and again after that. There’s so much to hear, and the music is so vibrant and ever-changing that there’s very little repetition nor anything that would get tiresome after a few listening sessions. This song makes for the perfect finish to a genuinely eclectic and entrancing album – loaded with refreshing ideas and heartfelt concepts. Hopefully there’s a lot more to come.