It would hardly be unreasonable for anyone to admit to feeling overwhelmed and perhaps a bit out of touch with themselves during a time when literal time has started to run together and many often aren’t even sure what day of the week it is. On the one hand, it would be easy to blame this state of being on the tumultuous day-to-day of recent socio-political developments. However, an artist like Seattle, WA based Julia Francis seems to be focused on the bigger and more wide-reaching picture of the sheer frenetic pace and everyday conflicts, that have overtaken human beings living in today’s modern age.
Ahead of her new EP You Get What You Want, due for release on July 31, 2020, is Francis’s newest single, “I Don’t Remember Me.”
Much like the title implies, this folk-rock song speaks to the idea that we as listeners have lost touch with a part of who we are amid the never-ending demands of everyday life. Francis hones in on the idea that with so much disconnection, the stress, anxiety, and tension that follow only stand to grow as distract as time goes on. Francis’s style of singing, which is deliberate, dynamic, and brandishing a slightly jagged edge similar to 1970s icon Janis Joplin, feels apt, given the very 1970s free-thinking mindset of the song itself.
The mere tempo of “I Don’t Remember Me,” which moves along at a casual tempo, works from the foundation of its very pacing to establish a calmer sense of flow. This fundamental element of the music serves as a secondary support behind the track’s theme of slowing down to re-connect with one’s innermost thoughts and feelings.
“It’s good to question the societal conditioning that has turned us away from ourselves and one another. We can overcome our trauma and heal each other by sharing where we really come from. When we remember that, we know that we’re all one extraordinary organism; we’re all the same star,” Francis says.
She continues, “[With ‘I Don’t Remember Me,’] I wanted to reunite the part of me that got locked away in childhood with the part of me that’s still swirling in the cosmos.”
While Francis’s intended concept behind “I Don’t Remember Me” evokes thoughts of a much more delicate, sparkling, and more lighthearted nature, the music doesn’t necessarily reflect a matching kind of timbre. Thick-toned, long sustained chords from layered electric guitars, lasting splash cymbal hits, and piercing upper-register organ harmonies all foster a collective sound that, despite promoting thoughts of limitlessness and open-mindedness, also projects unwavering confidence in the music’s message. The instrumentation and its accompanying dynamics avoid presenting a sonic quality of fragility and thus also avoid a sense of shyness around Francis’s desired message. Put all together, “I Don’t Remember Me” is an astute blend of a gentle mindset with a sturdy declaration.
Do you remember all your friends?
And all your enemies all around you?
Whisperin’ in your ear
I know, I know what’s right for you
And I know you can do things
that nobody else can do
But do you believe in you?
Do you remember you?