Before she became Frances Lion, singer-songwriter Beth Lowen fancied herself a globe-trotter. Born and raised in Hampshire, England, as soon as she was old enough, she set off to explore—she went to France, spent some time in London and even ended up running an open mic in Australia for a few months. Through it all, she was cutting her teeth and playing gigs anywhere she could get them.
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“I was just a jammy kid,” she said in a press release. “I’d message people and annoy people and blag it. One time I met this random Portuguese dude in a bar in France, who had connections in London. I pestered him so much that he got me a gig in Camden.”
That’s what Lowen’s early days were like… but since 2018, she’s been reinventing herself as Frances Lion, allowing her honest songwriting and incredibly expressive vocal abilities to rise to the surface. Now, in 2021, she’s gearing up to release a slew of new songs in partnership with one of her heroes, Linda Perry. On May 26, she unveiled her new single, “Home.”
“I wrote ‘Home’ a few years ago about the town I grew up in,” she told American Songwriter via email. “Even though I always wanted to move away from it, it’s forever remained a huge part of my identity. My brother produced this song at our parents house during lockdown and, with a lack of resources, we even had to rope my parents into being backing singers—so, it has even more of a ‘home’ feel than I had ever imagined.”
Likewise, even working with Perry was a cool full-circle moment for Lowen. “Funnily enough, when I was a teenager playing covers in pubs—Bob Dylan, Tracey Chapman, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, etc.—I always used to end my set with ‘What’s Up?’ by Perry’s band, 4 Non Blondes,” she said.
So when Lowen was invited to show Perry her music, she was understandably pretty nervous. “I flew to Los Angeles and walked up to Linda’s studio like a shaking lamb,” she remembered. “I played her some of my demos but she didn’t really like them. So, she made me pick up a guitar and play her a song—then she pretty much decided there and then that she wanted to make an album.”
For her part, Perry attests to being blown away by Lowen’s natural talent as a performer. “Frances Lions’ voice knocks me down emotionally,” she told American Songwriter via email. “I sit there amazed by its power. Melodically, she has captured a beautiful hybrid of what makes you feel and what makes you sing. If it’s ‘raw’ that you crave, you need not look any further.”
Perry’s got a point—on “Home,” Lowen’s vocal performance is soul-baring, carrying power and genuine expression along with it. Especially when she gets to the bridge and her voice starts to break up, it’s clear that she’s a highly-skilled performer with an innate sense of musicality. To that end, “Home” is an exciting peek at all of the music she and Perry have been working up.
Frances Lion’s new single “Home” is out now and available everywhere. Listen to it below: