Gillian Frances – “New Bones”

Brendan Nagle

Washington-based artist shares spirited reverb-soaked stunner off upcoming debut LP

“Is this me today?” This is the striking line that opens Gillian Frances’ latest single “New Bones,” a question posed to a mirror in an early morning haze – her slow, ascending vocal melody matching the weariness of her words. Layers of reverb-drenched guitar arpeggios underscore her lilting voice as she drifts into the chorus, which consists of only one word – “changing” – stretched out to seven or eight syllables. Despite their ostensible simplicity, Frances’ lyrics are often disarmingly evocative, her soft voice piercing deep beneath the surface. One can easily hear the sonic influence of gloomy artists like Grouper and Slowdive – both of whom Frances cites as touchstones – but her shimmering melodies are easily distinguishable from other musicians working in the same slowcore-adjacent realm. 

The Anacortes, WA-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is a veteran of the PNW music scene, playing in Portland bands like Black Belt Eagle Scout and Surfer Rosie, among others. But it’s only in the last few years that she began to focus on her own songs. 2018 saw the release of her excellent EP Born Yesterday, and now Frances is preparing to put out her debut full-length, Miles Away From Myself.

“New Bones” serves as the lead track on said album, its disoriented reflection perfectly setting the tone for the themes of dissociation, dysmorphia, and loss that lie ahead. Miles Away From Myself is out June 19th via Decency Den Records, but “New Bones” and its gorgeous accompanying music video is available to stream below:

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