“I feel really positive about this new record; I see this as my official introduction to fans and the industry.” Says singer Elissa Franceschi of her third self released album, ‘Into the Light’. Elissa further explains, “It’s bigger, the arrangements have more depth and more layers, we have live, talented musicians, the production is slicker, vocally I haven’t held back and the lyrics are more mature.” And whilst eager to point out that being self released isn’t a choice, not being signed to a label does grant total artistic freedom, which Elissa says is “a luxury you cannot put a fat advance on.”
Being that this is Elissa’s third album, I asked her how it differs from previous releases such as ‘Touch’ and ‘I Hold My Breath’. She explains, “It’s something that sonically feels on a whole other level to my previous releases.” She continues, “The time, money spent, and sheer growth in between these songs means I’ve become a stronger writer and arranger, my voice has developed and I really hope all those things really show.”
And judging by new track ‘Rainbow on Fire’ Elissa has nothing to worry about. As demonstrated with older material, it is again made clear with the new record that this lady is immensely talented in her vocals, writing and playing, and that talent should be recognized. Though she is quick to dispel any “lazy” comparisons to “any girl that plays the piano,” as she feels that, “every artist has their own identity.” And Elissa certainly has her own identity, never having had vocal training and developing her own style, already “sitting on over 100 songs” whilst doing her A-levels.
So, having started writing at quite a young age and with all the beauty and emotion conveyed in each track, do they stem from personal experiences? “Yes they all do, apart from very early work when I was too young to know about love.” She goes on to clarify, “’Below’ for example was very much written about my experience with one particular boy.” So does the choice of album title ‘Into the Light’ reflect the mood of the record? “It makes up the opening line from one of the new songs; the idea was to present a title that reflected both a movement from anything previously suppressive to something bright, beautiful and fearless. It also serves as a visual for me stepping into some form of spotlight.”
Speaking of stepping into the spotlight Elissa has provided guest vocals on You Me At Six’s track ‘Always Attract’ and has consequently had the chance to play shows with them at venues such as London’s Astoria, Camden’s Roundhouse, Reading festival and Wembley Arena, experiences she describes as being “Amazing,” “surreal,” and “nerve wracking.” In terms of guest vocalists/musicians on her own album, Elissa tells me that there will be two and whilst she remains tight lipped on names, she does say that she “loves their respective voices and felt they went perfectly for the chosen songs.” So that’s a surprise you will have to discover on the album.
So does Elissa have a preference in terms of playing intimate or larger shows? “I like both equally. I have never done a large show that’s just mine so maybe I would prefer that, but you cannot beat seeing people’s faces when you sing and laughing with them in-between songs.”
And Elissa has been very busy of late, Recently having a successful gig in Bath and shooting her first music video for ‘Rainbow On Fire’. (Which you can check out here:
But, I hear you ask, other than the new album what is next for Elissa? “Nothing in the diary, I am focusing on getting the album artwork finished so people can read all the new lyrics. I’m planning more music videos, a single release, a documentary and some live YouTube sessions, so the gigging will come, just not yet.” And whilst she is reluctant to say how the response to her music has been so far she does conclude that “this is only the beginning.” So watch this space…