new music: check the haunting sci-fi r&b of francine thirteen’s “lady mary, the highborn fire” #soundcheck

June 10, 2015

The latest track from Francine Thirteen’s Mary Saga is the disarming “Lady Mary, the Highborn Fire.” Building from the same skippy beat that anchored “Queen Mary,” her latest single takes her theatrical impulses to their fullest. Her voice jumps from stratospheric and ethereal to spoken, while a menacing piano line takes over. She shares a kindred spirit with the inventive omni-genre Signor Benedick the Moor, imagining an epic dystopian sci-fi tale set in a quasi-feudal quasi-future world. “They say I never did anything for them, it’s not entirely true. I did convince the king that he’d resurrect in 3 days,” she says with a hint of malice, before defining herself as “the healer.” There’s something wonderfully complex and chilling about guessing at her characters’ hidden motivations and desires. Here’s hoping we eventually get some sort of graphic novel to fill in the gaps.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor