New York City wunderkind JW Francis has announced the release of his second studio LP, the appropriately titled Wanderkid, and given us the first taste of the new release in the form of ‘John Take Me With You’.
I love the write up that Francis gets on his Spotify page. By way of Oklahoma, Paris, and New York City, three places that should never be used in the same sentence, Francis was an assistant to a Nobel Prize winner and a Murder Mystery business owner in a past life. That eclectic background serves his music well: a potent blend of indie rock, bedroom pop, and touches of electronica that Francis is wringing every last drop out of.
“WANDERKID is an album about escape,” Francis explains. “It’s supposed to be a gut punch of a record about an anti-hero named WANDERKID who wants to get OUT: out of his living situation, out of his head, out of his life. This album is like looking out the car window with an urgent desire to be on the other side. It was finished during the most recent global pandemic, so hopefully folks find it relatable.”
Infectious and catchy beyond my wildest expectations, ‘John, Take Me With You’ has a lot more drive and purpose than some of the more meandering and listless songs in Francis’ catalogue. Most of the time the singer/songwriter comes off as a goofy, fun-loving indie kid not too concerned with any major issues that could potentially harsh his mellow. That’s incredibly charming and endearing, but it doesn’t always make for great music. ‘John, Take Me With You’ however, is pretty great.
I don’t mean to be too critical of Francis, who seems like a genuinely singular figure in the fairly anonymous world of indie rock. His audio book version of We Share a Similar Joy is actually a very heart-warming and kooky listen, while his debut LP of the same name has a ton of wholesome and appealing melodic flourishes. It’s hard to completely ride on charm, but ‘John, Take Me With You’ is a pretty good sign that Francis has the chops to sustain himself as a top notch new artist.
Check out the video for ‘John, Take Me With You’ down below. Wanderkid will be released on October 1.