Paula DeFrancis – Channel Home – Review

Paula DeFrancisThe newest single from pianist/singer/songwriter Paula DeFrancis, “Channel Home”, is awash with beauty and elegance. With stark instrumentation and rich production, “Channel Home” takes the listener on an emotional journey, culminating with impassioned pleas from DeFrancis for someone to “Take Me Home Again”.

Paula DeFrancis – Channel Home

Beginning with solo piano, the song toggles between tension and release. While the tonality of the music is ultimately sanguine, the tension in the music creates an ominous background feeling, as though DeFrancis is simultaneously hopeful and suspicious of the future. Starting in 6/8 time, the piano is able to develop a sonic landscape, over which the vocals enter after the 45-second mark.

Her poetic lyrics seem to describe the process of struggling and trying to come to terms with one’s current situation. DeFrancis is careful not to be too specific; this works out in her favor as the listener is able to find meaning and interpretation that is perhaps more unique to them.

As the chorus enters we hear DeFrancis sing “Take Me Home Again” for the first time, and her true desires become more plain: she feels disconnected from a place where she belongs, and wants to return. “I can see the light beyond” she says, an indication that while she remains optimistic, something ever-present may be preventing her from reaching her home.

In the second verse we are granted an illuminating image of the home she seeks. We hear of a house “towering over [her], wise and knowing”, as if the house is almost a mentor, an inanimate guide for those who dwell inside. “A beautiful home, standing still, seeing all of me”; again an assessment of the house as an adviser and companion. DeFrancis details working on the house, repairing and maintaining it with care.

When we hear her return to the chorus and sing “Take me home again!” the emotion is palpable. DeFrancis’ fierce cries echo the sentimentality and bond she feels for her lost home, truly moving the listener to feel her pain. With the remainder of the song fading out on piano and ambient noise, the listener is left to wonder whether the narrator ever reconnects with her home.

While the arrangement of piano & vocals can feel sometimes slightly empty, Paula DeFrancis takes pains to allow this to complement her lyrical topic. The ending is perhaps a little abrupt and leaves the listener wanting more, but again, this potential downside can also play in her favor, letting some disillusion tell the story for her. All in all, an excellent first entry from a promising young artist.

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