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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Direct Sunlight" - Lillian Frances

"I was on fire," Lillian Frances muses in the buttery chorus of her latest single, "Direct Sunlight." It's a sparkling moment: multiple synths circulating her radiant voice. The indie-pop offering from the California native is a portal into her experience. The sound is otherworldly—both too warped to be lucid and too raw to be abstract—constantly making slight shifts and movements as though morphing before our ears. It's impressionistic: conveying feeling as it is felt and not easily described. This balance between measured intricacy and organic sensitivity is remarkable and rare; it's what makes pop-artist Lorde so indescribably beloved. Self-produced, "Direct Sunlight" proves that Lillian Frances is one-of-a-kind, sharing her masterful and fully-developed, artistic voice.

For as complex as "Direct Sunlight" is, it's a testament to Frances' skill that it remains a cohesive experience. Repeated listens prove bountiful to the careful ear: picking out each nuance and intricacy. My favorite part comes at the bridge. "Play it again in my head," she soars over a harmony of pitch-modulated vocals. As the mix pairs down to a low synth, she repeats "it plays again and again." The sublime production morphs this repetition into a dreamscape of reverb and bubbling percussion. There are no words or easy descriptors for the experience—you have to hear it to feel it. But it's that loss for words that I'm left with that makes me so enamored with the song.

Lilly Frances is a Sacramento-based indie-pop artist. Self-produced, her music effortlessly spans genre and stylistic influence. This trademark fluidity of sound meshes perfectly with her voice and lyrics—shifting between Spanish and English. Frances released her debut album, "Moonrise Queendom," in 2020. "Direct Sunlight" arrives as her second single release of this year. Additionally, she's played a multitude of festivals and even opened for Sylvan Esso.

Written By Andy Mockbee

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