Francis of Delirium released The Funhouse last week, completing a trilogy of well-received EPs in style.
The project of 20-year-old Luxembourg-based Jana Bahrich, everything about the Francis of Delirium sound disputes her limitations of age and origin: Bahrich has an intense arsenal of pounding arena-sized guitar riffs ready to unload at any moment, matched by a vulnerable and thoughtful lyrical style of a much more seasoned songwriter.
The four tracks on The Funhouse take the listener back to the angsty grunge of the early 90s while maintaining a degree of modern alt-pop; it’s a balancing act that Bahrich’s contemporaries like Goat Girl also pull off well. The rhythm is fiercely muscular throughout, Bahrich striking that mixture of quiet-meets-loud intensity with her moody vocals.
“The EP was largely a way for me to process and adapt to the chaos that continued to be more and more present in our everyday life,” Bahrich says. “As I was writing the EP, it felt like every moment got weirder along with my headspace. I was inspired to mimic that mayhem by using heavier guitars and darker tones, leaning into drum sounds that were massive and bombastic, drawing from bands like Slint and The Smashing Pumpkins.”
After finishing off that trilogy of EPs with The Funhouse, the next logical step for Francis of Delirium is a full-length album. Judging by the wealth of material on these previous releases, though, that shouldn’t be a difficult extension for them to make.
To celebrate the release of the new EP, we caught up with Bahrich as part of our Get To Know series to find out more about her life and music.
Francis of Delirium’s The Funhouse is out now via Dalliance Recordings.
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How did your artist name come about?
My artist name came from this lady who was at my grandparents old folks home called Francis. She would always swear at us when we were kids, so her and her sort of hysteria always stayed in the back of my mind.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Pop music dressed up in a rock outfit.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
The Funhouse EP that we are currently releasing has been focused on how hectic the world has been. I liked the idea of a funhouse as the main image of the EP because of how absurd they are and how you have no control over your journey through the funhouse.
The floor shifts and moves, people jump out at you, it’s just pure chaos. The feeling of instability and uneasiness that you get walking through a funhouse was something I was trying to explore throughout this batch of songs.
What do you love about your hometown?
How much open space there is. It’s really easy to get lost in nature.
Career highlight so far?
Probably the U.S. tour with The Districts and Vanillaroma that we just wrapped up. I think it just reaffirmed how much I love touring and playing shows for people. If I get to keep doing just that, I would be happy.
Fave non-music hobby?
I love painting or any kind of visual art. Linobloc and woodcutting has been a new favourite of mine.
What’s on your dream rider?
We’re always shocked when anyone actually gives us what is on our rider, so we are pretty easy to please. Some ginger and honey and hummus and crackers always kind of gets the job done. Vodka coke too.
Dream music collaboration?
Me and Charli XCX. I appreciate how much she commits to everything she does. She’s such a prolific writer and it would be cool to be in a room with her and write. I also just saw her show a couple of hours ago and it was insane, such crazy energy.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Playing crazy shows and releasing my best music.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
I’m a crowd pleaser, so as long as no one else has done it on the night, Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’m not sure yet. I need a few more years before I can determine if the advice I was given was really useful or if I actually absorbed any of it at all.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
I really, really love pop music. I have a small obsession with the Belgian pop singer Angèle.