Blackpool, UK singer/songwriter Karima Francis, topped with a shock of unruly curls, has one of those voices shot through to the core with an aching vulnerability -- rough and a little ragged around the edges but both tender and telling all at once. Recalling the pulled-close acoustic alt/folk intimacy of Tracy Chapman and Tanita Tikaram, Francis finds that shadowy place between sharply drawn and forceful storytelling and the hushed drama of personal confession. On the surface, new single (and video below) "Wherever I Go", a first glimpse at her forthcoming summer full length, isn't all that striking. But the raw voice, pleading, emotional, impassioned, suddenly makes the melody sing with new meaning and depth and the effect is simply, quietly and devastatingly real. Picked a few years ago as one of those "new faces to watch" throughout the U.K. press, Francis makes good the promise of her '09 indie debut on August 6 with the major label The Remedy, produced by Flood (U2, PJ Harvey). The Wherever I Go EP drops May 13 in the U.K.
Karima Francis - "Wherever I Go" (from the album The Remedy)