This track wasn’t a rush for clicks or likes. This track is a message from within, and it hit me like a hammer.
Backed only by an acoustic guitar at the beginning, and later on some defensive strings and a piano, the stage is set for the vocals of Campbell to deliver. And they do from the first seconds on. Those vocals are carrying an unbelieavable amount of emotion and fragility. To me its clear that “Francis” is not just another song for Campbell but a work of heart and soul very dear to him, you just can hear that. Another hint about the emotional importance to him is that he did those awesome animations for the video himself, and let me tell you this: such things take a huge amount of time and effort.
Nowadays, with the load of submissions I get every day, it doesn’t happen too often that I get ripped out of my workflow, forced to stop, listen and stare in silence. But this is exactly what happened with “Francis”. Some would call the style of the song melancholic, but somehow I think that doesn’t exactly fit. Although the music suggest a certain melancholy, there’s just more to it. It’s hard to describe, but I feel the song is way more than just one category, one genre. If you got some time, do me a favor and check out some other tracks of Campbell, escpecially “Black Widow“. You should see now what I see, there’s an incredible amount of emotional expression in there, feeling like Campbell opened a window to his soul, letting you take a glimpse of his essence not only as a musician and artist, but as Jon Campbell, the human being. Although knowing that this isn’t the lightweight, everyday ha-ha-stuff, he wants you to see and feel what’s going on inside. This is both brave and honest to a point where some may call it brutal and hard to bear.
I learned that the creating the LP “Sirens” has been a personal odyssey for Campbell, and going through his publicly available work over the last two years it shows that the singer/songwriter went through kind of a maturing process as an artist. Well, that probably happens with all artists, right – they develop over time. Everyone does. But what divides Campbell from other artists is that in my opinion, every track, every video and every painting is a snapshot of his soul. I found it amazing that those little captured moments in time told me a lot about the development of Campbell without him even saying a word, but just through the expression of his art(s). And this, guys, is a rare gift out there. In my opinion, this is why music and art even exist. It has to mean something.