When you can be mesmerized by an artist singing a song that is fifty-four seconds long and contains only layered vocals, handclaps, and percussion, you’ll get why Angelique Francis has a spellbinding gift, and who means business in under a minute with this, her new single “Take Command” — available now.
Take command, take command
Don’t rely on another man
An empowering chant lifting and fueling feminine strength, “Take Command” puts Angelique Francis’ dusky, self-assured lead vocal front and center with her own tight harmonies for the first half-minute before kick drum and handclaps propel this interlude to a speedy finish. While the chorus is a demonstrative reminder to take back personal worth, the verse describes the indiscretion that gives fire to that need.
Yes, I waited
I waited for you
Yeah, I waited
‘Til my lips turned blue
I waited in vain
Now all I got
Is suffering. Pain.
‘Nuff said. “Take Command” is a moment in time that needs no further explanation or expounding upon. Everyone can understand the pain of rejection instantly and Francis frames it in this song in an unadorned and undeniably hypnotic way.
The equally hypnotic and highly effective video for “Take Command”, available now via YouTube, features multiple versions of the Ottawa-based artist on a white background, dressed in a striking blue gown. The glamorous group sings the song while the camera snap-zooms and snap-pans to reveal particular Angeliques that start clapping, playing the drum, or singing certain key lyrics.
“Take Command” is an interlude that bridges between two longer tracks on Francis’ second album Long River, which was just released in March. Blues traditions are at the heart of all fourteen tracks on the album, but there are also intriguing genre bends towards Soul, Folk, Jazz, Gospel, and Rock along the way. Francis’ versatile, soulful, and evocative vocals anchor the trip, conjuring up reminiscences of Big Mama Thornton, Koko Taylor, Aretha, Bessie Smith, and more. The mix of genres and influences running through Long River — and the sense of everything and everyone is connected — anchors the key concept Francis wanted to convey with her new album.
“Despite our differences, and the vast variations in our personal histories, we are all floating down this river together,” notes Francis. “We are all connected in this way. We have all shared the same beginning, and we will all share the same end.”
In addition to Francis’ upfront contributions as lead vocalist — handily displayed on “Take Command” — she plays upright bass, electric bass, harmonica, acoustic and electric guitar, organ, and keyboards on the album. Joining her are four of her family members: co-songwriter, producer, drummer, and vocalist Kiran Francis, saxophonist and vocalist Kharincia Francis, trombonist, and vocalist Kira Francis, and vocalist Kayla Francis. Rounding out the band are Dave Williamson on lead electric guitar and Ed Lister on trumpet.
Angelique Francis and her mostly-family band have become internationally known for electrifying performances while she holds court center stage with her double bass, stoking up her growing notoriety as an exciting and eclectic musical force to be reckoned with. The group has been featured at the Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea festival, Sighisoara Blues Festival (Romania), Massey Hall (Women’s Blues Revue), Montreal Jazz Festival, Mariposa Folk Fest, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa Blues Festival, Mont-Tremblant Blues Festival, Ottawa Folk Fest, and many more. Francis has shared the stage with and opened for a wide range of renowned artists — including Gary Clark Jr., Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Keb’ Mo’, Jimmy Vivino, Beth Hart, Tom Cochrane, Burton Cummings, Sugar Ray, and the list continues to grow.
Francis’ impressive list of credits and growing caché in the Canadian music industry has led her to be invited to host the upcoming 2022 Maple Blues Awards to be held both live and virtually from Toronto’s Koerner Hall on Monday, June 20.
With this dynamic rising star at the helm, it’s going to be a night, and we can hopefully expect to be wowed by a rousing performance from this Canadian blues bright light and her band along the way. Industry insiders and her growing legion of international fans know she’s on the verge and her new single underlines it.
“Take Command”, from Angelique Francis’ Long River, is available now!
2022 Tour Dates:
July 21, 2022 Hugh’s Room Toronto ON
June 24, 2022 RCHA Club Kingston ON
June 30, 2022 Montreal Jazz Festival Montreal QC
June 20, 2022 Maple Blues Awards Toronto On
July 7, 2022 Bluesfest Ottawa ON
July 21, 2022 Hugh’s Room Toronto ON
July 23, 2022 Front Porch Southern Kitchen and Blues Joint Langton ON
July 24, 2022 Grandbend Beach Sunset Sounds Grand Bend ON
July 30, 2022 Canmore Folk Festival Canmore AB
July 31, 2022 Canmore Folk Festival Canmore AB
August 6, 2022 Donnacona Blues Festival Donncacona QC
August 1, 2022 Canmore Folk Festival Canmore AB
July 9, 2022 Lighthouse Blues Festival Kincardine ON
August 14, 2022 StoneCropAcres Winery and Vineyard Morrisburg ON
August 18, 2022 The Chef’s Table 2022 : National Arts Centre, on a floating stage on the Rideau Canal Ottawa ON
August 19, 2022 The Chef’s Table 2022 : National Arts Centre, on a floating stage on the Rideau Canal Ottawa ON
August 20, 2022 The Chef’s Table 2022 : National Arts Centre, on a floating stage on the Rideau Canal Ottawa ON
August 21, 2022 The Chef’s Table 2022 : National Arts Centre, on a floating stage on the Rideau Canal Ottawa ON
September 8, 2022 The Chef’s Table 2022 : National Arts Centre, on a floating stage on the Rideau Canal Ottawa ON