ep review: Francis of delirium – wading

It’s not often you see two musicians 30 years apart finding some artistic common ground, and even more unusual that they choose to collaborate. Luxembourg-based Francis of Delirium is precisely that: made up of Chris Hewett and 19-year-old prodigy Jana Bahrich. Today they return with Wading, their second EP release as a duo, with ‘I Think I’m Losing’ being its final unreleased number. 

It’s a bold, determined second coming of grunge, revitalised by Gen Z indie rock. Here, the teenager is confidently centre-stage on the songwriting, videographing, and illustrating for the four-song project. 

Speaking about the EP, Bahrich said: “To me, Wading is about the attempt to find identity whilst going through a large personal shift. For me that was the changing of relationships and leaving the structure of high school and moving out into the “greater world”, attempting to find my own place in that and understanding who I am and where I fit.”

Wading packs no less punch than an EP twice its length, as Bahrich faces the questions any other 19-year-old wouldn’t dare to answer. Questions of identity, belonging, change, loneliness, and acceptance as she navigates through the love, family, and relationships that surround her.

Instrumentals throughout the project, even with the opening track ‘Lakes’, are amplified to distortion but give Jana’s vocals air to breathe, as if unscathed. She boasts an impressive range, not only in pitch but in emotion as well as she explores her own identity through family and community. 

There’s a distinct pang in each of her songs, yearning for something she doesn’t have. ‘Let It All Go’ is the crux of the EP, and here she lays herself bare as a relationship breaks down at a party. We’re privy to her thoughts as they race through her head, quickly snowballing into lyrics she scrambles to get out, until the illusion shatters and we’re left only with the wrenching refrain “Let it all go, let it all go, let it all go”.

‘I Think I’m Losing’ is the EP’s parting track. Slower in tempo, it gives Bahrich the time to accept her life, despite one mired in mistakes, loss and grief. Through this we see she is defiant in moving forward, without forgetting the past. 

Wading, out April 9th, is a concise release full of vigour that is sure to be the framework for the two’s future endeavours.

Wading is available now on all of the usual streaming platforms and as a digital download from Bandcamp.

Find out more about Francis of Delirium on their official website.

Review by Byron Gamble

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