In case you did not know, Frances Clare is a proudly South African, female-fronted five-piece band that have toured extensively both locally and internationally, sharing stages with the likes of Mango Groove, Matthew Mole, Wheatus, Zolani from Freshlyground and more.
With stripped-down lyrics, expert nuancing, beautifully layered vocal melodies and consistently open, honest delivery, Frances Clare presents the listener with a balanced showcase of emotional integrity and untold maturity that speaks to the innate talent of the five music teachers who make up this enigmatic Cape Town-based act.
Frances Clare Toured the UK in December 2019 / January 2020
Fronted by Frances Litten on vocals and acoustic guitar, the rest of the five-piece consists of main guitarist Devon De Swardt who is also the musical director, Emil Terhoven on drums and percussion, Steven Jarvis on the bass and Tricia Brink-Jones who provides harmonies and violin.
In the two years that they have been in the industry they have been invited to perform at countless events, including Splashy Fen in KwaZulu-Natal, The National Arts Festival in Makhanda, as well as Music From South Africa in Berlin, where they performed alongside Beatenberg.
Their most recent tour took the pared-down ensemble of Frances and Steven to the UK in the heart of winter, playing well-known venues like The Bedford, where both Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith have performed; The Halfmoon in Putney that previously hosted U2; as well as the Dublin Castle in Camden where they headlined a show in a space where Amy Winehouse used to sing.
Upon returning, the band has created a platform to assist independent artists with international tour planning.
Following in the footsteps of these greats, Frances Clare continued to draw in audiences in the same way they had done on their summer tour through Paris, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.
Filming the video for ‘Catastrophic’
The filming of the video for Catastrophic was an exercise in pure serendipity. Recorded in one take in the beautiful St John’s church in Hoxton by local videographer Max Benoist, the opportunity to create the video presented itself when Benoist had a sudden cancellation for a live recording and opened the floor to interested artists via a social media post. Frances Clare was tagged by a new friend from Paris, and just happened to be available on the very night that he would be recording in London.
The result is an expertly crafted video that makes the most of the wonderful acoustics of the space, providing the perfect backdrop for a piece that Frances had written at the very start of her career and also happened to be the song that inspired guitarist Devon to approach her to form a band in the first place.
Check out the video for ‘Catastropic’ below:
Recognition for Frances Clare & Where To Find Their Music
“Go“, the highly-anticipated single the band released before heading on their debut tour of the UK in December 2019, was also recently also named one of the top 15 tracks in Australia by Banks Radio, and receives frequent airplay in Luxembourg as well.
“Go is a wonderful blend of elevating mainstream pop and folk-pop. Looking at the bigger picture, Frances Clare’s sound could be best described as the meeting corner of Ed Sheeran and Alanis Morissette.” A&R Factory
One thing is for sure, the world at large is sitting up and taking notice of Frances Clare. When they released their EP Gold in 2019, it was playlisted on Spotify’s New Music South Africa playlist alongside Billie Eilish, John Newman and The Black Keys.
Watch this space for updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.