Today, KARIMA FRANCIS lifts the veil on an elegant new track: ‘Orange Rose’.
Making a welcome return to the spotlight, the singer-songwriter from Blackpool delivers an atmospheric and elegiac single for the soul, that emerges as her first new material of 2020.
Wrapt in a haze of misty atmospherics and languid acoustics, at its heart ‘Orange Rose’ is a love song straight and true. Though like almost all love stories, this one is not without its complications. Offering wistful rumination on how mental health can send shockwaves through even the most intimate and entwined of relationships, ‘Orange Rose’ sees Karima strike a masterful balance of meditative and melancholy songwriting.
“In a world where we sometimes feel we can’t speak out, we tend to take it the worst out on people closest to us.” says Karima, opening-up about the track’s fragile subject matter. Relocating from the shores of the Irish Sea to the expansive horizons of the Pacific last year, ‘Orange Rose’ was one of a number of new songs penned in Venice Beach, California, as the singer found herself instinctively drawn to the sun and sounds radiating from the West Coast and its simmering alternative scene. Finding a kindred spirit in LA producer Tim Carr (who also produced her sublime ‘Shelf Life’ track of last year), the textured and transient feel of ‘Orange Rose’ is testament to the stimulating new environs Karima found herself writing in. "I was fantasising about making more, organic, saturated sounding records for a long time and alongside this, I wanted to record out in America as I was finding most of my musical influences were artists from America.” she says. “Last year I made the move to go out to California to find the sound for the new record and to immerse myself in the West Coast indie/alternative scene and out there, the relationship with Tim bloomed and the music was made.”
Dusky of atmosphere and mellifluous of melody, the record also features appearances from close friend Simon Edwards on Bass (who notably played on Talk Talk’s seminal ’Spirit of Eden’ record; a favourite of Karima’s), plus London-based singer/songwriter Klara from Sweden who feathers the record with its ethereal omnichord layerings.
Produced by Tim Carr, the track was further mastered by Grammy-nominated Phillip Shaw Bova (Andy Shauf, Father John Misty).
‘Orange Rose’ arrives with a captivating video filmed in Las Vegas just before Christmas last year. “I had the idea about a concept of self-destructive behaviour” she says, “a constant running away from our fears which potentially ends in us running away from the people who can make us whole again.” Subtle of narrative and cinematic in quality, the video finds Karima lost deep in thought and caught-up between a rock and a hard place in the Nevada state city. Karima Francis is a critically acclaimed musician and songwriter, renowned for her innate ability to blend haunting melodies with honest lyrics and alluring ambiance. With an ear for music evident from an early age, Karima went on to release her debut album ‘The Author’ in 2009 to widespread critical acclaim. Her consequent album’s ‘The Remedy’ (2012) and ‘Black’ (2016) witnessed further acknowledgment of her artistic abilities and saw her truly begin to spread her wings. Her journey to date has found her playing on Later… With Jools Holland, supporting the likes of Paul Simon, Amy Winehouse and The Stereophonics, as well as working with renowned producer Flood (Nine Inch Nails, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Depeche Mode).
Entering her thirties, Karima found a new rhythm to recording life on the West Coast of the USA last year. Beguiling new single ‘Orange Rose’ and last year’s ‘Shelf Life’ are just the first fruits to taste from the latest chapter of Karima Francis’ transfixing career.
Karima Francis releases new single ‘Orange Rose’, 15th May 2020.