After two successful EPs (Little Moments, 2014 and Postcards, 2016) produced by Toby Davies (Jorja Smith, Maverick Sabre, Gentlemans Dub Club) of which Folk Radio UK said of Postcards a ‘captivating listen and one I could happily lose myself in…’ Fran Wyburn is releasing her much anticipated debut album Wood For The Trees, 2nd March 2018 under her own label Yellow Door Records.
December 2017 saw the first single release from the album, ‘Foolish Sea’, where the music video (see below) was premiered on Folk Radio UK and received substantial airplay across the folk world.
Working with specialist folk and roots producer Dan Webster, Fran and musical collaborator George Birkett recorded the album over summer 2017.
Webster’s production perfectly brings to life the subtlety in the arrangements and the authentic and heart felt character of Fran’s music. The album takes us on an intimate and emotional journey of personal growth through life experience. Fran says she wants the album to be like ‘listening to a friend, snuggled up under blankets in front a fire and sipping tea’.
The songs are diverse and always offer something new displaying the full breadth of Fran’s writing. As an artist she is unafraid to stand alone with just her voice and guitar, as in ‘Me And Me’ and ‘Sorry Heart’. She takes you to extremes with dreamy joyful upbeat songs such as ‘Happy Forever After’ and ‘Mr Blackbird’. These songs demonstrate the full extent of her playful side and are in contrast to the more pensive and sombre songs like ‘Set Sail’ and ‘Pass On By’, where the piano becomes an instrument of harnessing a more darker energy to her music.
The album also offers cleverly and intricately arranged tracks with soaring ethereal multiple harmonies (Rosie Evans), tender cello (Rachel Brown), and sophisticated guitar (George Birkett), as in ‘Snowdrops’ and ‘Me’, ‘Rumi Said’ and ‘Foolish Sea’.
Fran’s musical collaborator George Birkett is an incredible folk guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, singer and arranger whose guitar plays a central voice to the album. His wonderful finger picking skill and her pure toned voice weave in and out of each other like an enchanting dance which complements the striking melodies and curious rhythms inherent in the album.
The album will launch with a live performance at Trinity Church in Fran’s home city, Leeds on March 1st (Ticket link www.franwyburn.com/gigs) Fran will then complete a UK tour of unusual venues and spaces – from front rooms to libraries and garden sheds– promoting community engagement and inclusivity, things very close to her heart.
Wood For The Trees establishes Fran as an artist who has proved her weight in songwriting and it is no doubt that she has something new to offer the contemporary folk scene.
Her sound is idiosyncratic, conversational, melodically enticing and harmonically captivating. Forging a new sound that nods its head at alt folk whilst embracing influences from world music and sombre pop, Fran never fails to intrigue, entice and stimulate.
Inspired by the 1960’s folk revival, her style is current, original and spirited. She cites influences as wide as Joni Mitchell, Agnes Obel, Rokia Traroe. Kimya Dawson and Laura Mvula.
After working for many years in London Fran packed her life away, brought a guitar and traveled the world busking her way around it. Teaching herself as she went she started writing songs about her experiences and returned with a dream to be a touring a songwriter! Honing her craft at Leeds College of Music in a Masters in Composition and working with Ian Archer (Snow Patrol, Jake Bug, Gabrielle Aplin). Fran has finished a tour this winter of packed festivals and gigs including The Great British Folk Festival, Folk East, Green Gathering and Equinox.
Artist’s website: www.franwyburn.com
‘Foolish Sea’ – official video: