Francis Lung: Miracle – album reviewFrancis Lung: Miracle

(Memphis Industries)

CD | LP| Digital

Out now

The intertextual and personal second album by Tom McClung, aka Francis Lung, is released today.

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It’s been a decade since Tom McClung’s former band WU LYF released their frenetic and intensely immersive debut Go Tell Fire To The Mountain. Observing his solo reincarnation as Francis Lung over the last few years, one might question the identity of the musician. Genre-wise, the change is, indeed, drastic. A mélange of chamber-pop and dreamy balladry on the first FL album, yet, links to the aesthetic quality and extensive listening background behind all other works and projects McClung has even produced or been involved in.

In a way, Miracle has shed lush foliage of celebratory sound which defined his previous record. However, Francis Lung has stayed true to the tuneful songwriting approach of A Dream is U. To some extent, it nods to both solo paths of McCartney and Lennon, marrying perfectly structured pop texture with dreamy melodies. It is a funny coincidence that the album is released on Sir Paul’s birthday.

Still, the intertextuality of Miracle is not narrowed to the modern classics references of the late ’60s – early ’70s. Wistful double-tracked vocals on Don’t Call Me Baby allude to more recent, latter-day auteurs such as Elliott Smith on his lighter, contemplative XO album. On a similar note, some tracks submerge in the murkiness akin to the Scandinavian alternative and folk scene. Moody Comedown (Again), evoke Danish rockers Mew, particularly the high-pitch vocals of Jonas Bjerre.

Eclectic and referential, the album is nevertheless a distinctly personal statement. With its varying moods and intimate lyrics, it shows someone who is not hesitant to open up. The title track speaks of innocent hope for serendipity: I don’t believe in miracles / but I believe that something’s going to happen pretty soon, / not because I want it to but because it has to.

Although melancholic in part, Miracle is generally characterised by an upbeat mood. Irrespective of the album, a miracle is thought to have a supernatural origin. Although it most likely does, the name of the record stitched on the artist’s jacket reminds one that it is also a matter of someone’s desire to make things happen. Whatever it is, McClung seems to be well aware of such conventional wisdom.

Miracle can be ordered here.

More music by Francis Lung is available on his official Facebook, Twitter and YouTube profiles.

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All words by Irina Shtreis. More writing by Irina can be found in her author’s archive.

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