FRANCIS of DELIRIUM – ” Wading ” EP

Posted: September 9, 2021 in MUSIC
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On her latest project as Francis of Delirium Jana Bahrich attempts to piece together a sense of self-understanding while traversing a collision of reds and blues, various deep waterways, and oscillating ridges of guitar distortion. Like a rabid cartographer, the Luxembourg-based musician realizes that mapping our own humanity is messy and inordinately confusing. Her reflections result is the visceral, affecting EP “Wading”.

Wading joins Bahrich’s dynamic vocals—ranging from rare moments of fragile falsetto to volcanic yells—and spacious grunge-inspired compositions. There are bits of soaring guitars on the opening track “Lakes” that recall Explosions in the Sky, while grit-fuelled moments conjure the experiments of noisy forebears like Car Seat Headrest or Fontaines D.C. Bahrich’s post-punk/grunge/noise mixture is buttressed to fruition with producer/drummer Chris Hewett; especially poignant is the dramatic closer “I Think I’m Losing,” when Hewett collapses into the chorus. 

After last year’s All Change EP, her sophomore follow-up is an impressive continuation of Bahrich’s catalogue. “Wading” is an intimate snapshot of an upcoming artist figuring out how individuality manifests (and how it isn’t really individual at all); what happens when those closest to us leave? Are we still the same? How does one choose to make sense of life’s lessons? Are they meant to be metaphorical or literal? These are only a few of the questions Francis of Delirium pokes at amidst the riotously fun, melodically grounded instrumentation.

1. “Lakes”

“Lakes” sets up the rest of the EP by speaking about identity and a sense of self that eventually starts to erode until that idea of self is gone and changed. The main idea in “Lakes” is that we are all fed by other people (or other “rivers”) to eventually form who we are: one large lake fed by other water streams. We are essentially the amalgamation of hundreds of people rather than one singular person. A lot of my self identity was tied to the people in my community at school, so once those relationships shifted as I left school my identity was challenged. That anchor was no longer there, that structure was gone. The question I sort of pose throughout the EP is, who am I now as these relationships morph?

2. “Red”

“Red” is the pushing away of someone and justifying it with your anger rather than rationally discussing your feelings. It’s believing something you thought to be true and then that being switched. It’s the loss of trust in a relationship. You’re left angry and confused, unsure of yourself, or who to trust. Instead of communicating effectively, you start to push away, preemptively moving into isolation as a defense mechanism to stop yourself from more hurt. Simultaneously the song challenges the goodness I see in myself, as a good friend, someone filled with love is gone, which distances you from this idea of yourself even further. So you’re pushing away someone else and pushing away a version of yourself you enjoy.

3. “Let It All Go”

It’s set over one night at a party, and eventually resulting in the acceptance and letting go of a relationship that is broken. The song is very confessional so it’s written in this stream of consciousness, almost in a spoken word kind of way. “Let It All Go” chronicles a full commitment to isolation. To me the song feels like this vertigo, justifying and grappling and releasing. Trying to take back your anger from before, that how someone hurt you doesn’t matter and you can move past it: “I’m so sorry I was overbearing and I’m so sorry I thought this meant something.” Eventually there’s this acceptance, you have to let go. Although removing yourself is the healthier option, you also descend into a space of isolation.

4. “I Think I’m Losing”

It’s a reflection on everything that transpired in the previous songs, filled with self-doubt and uncertainty. A lot of the EP is pointing rage inwardly and this song reaches the peak of that. An entire question of the self, am I losing who I am? Was I good to the people who love me? Was everything that happened fabricated and blown out of proportion? Are my feelings valid? Was it all my fault pushing people away? Just a real good old spiral into uncertainty, imbalance, and emptiness. At the end of the day, though, maybe you should be feeling this, maybe you need to feel like you’re losing to motivate yourself to rebuild stronger and with more love and less anger at yourself and everywhere else.

As the EP progresses my perspective continues to distort. It felt interesting to take emotions that are rooted in truth and then pushing them to the extreme and exploring that heightened feeling.

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