The lush soundscapes that London-based singer/songwriter Frenchie creates under the guise of The Naked Eye are simply mesmerising. Having caught my ear back in 2014 with “Embrace Me” and “Sweet Boy,” both of which appear on the EP, I was eager to hear her progression over the past two years.
The Naked Eye is a unique collaborative project centered around the singer, with production handled by Charlie P and a rhythm section made up of Jim Macrae (drums/percussion), Andres Castellanos (bass) and Tim Sentance (keys/synths). First off, the production is sublime. All of the songs have a fresh feel. It's an organic sound that mixes perfectly with her vocals, with every track telling an intensely personal story of many lessons and emotions.
Opening track "Intro" leads listeners to follow Frenchie into her dream world. “I wanted the intro to sound like a meditation, and for the listener to imagine they’re in a garden”, says Frenchie who translated a passage in her native French to add to an intimate sensation to the introduction. Over the duration of the EP she floats in and around the productions with a sultry and confident vocal tone, none more so than on recent single “River Of No Return”.
As the EP progresses we arrive at “Embrace Me”, a two-part song that opens with a serene, gentle vocal and laid back instrumentation, but it’s when you hit the three-minute mark that a sudden burst of electronics changes the pace of the track. Heavily inspired by Flying Lotus’ “Never Catch Me” it's these subtle deviations that make this EP such an intriguing listen.
“Come Wonder” is a slow-burning song that grew out of a surreal dream about a past lover. The track draws you in with its warm melodies and loungey vibe before a dark, moody atmosphere takes over towards the end. The singer says about the song “I became fascinated by the way your dreams can suddenly change, dramatically or violently, in mood and tone”.
My personal favourite and the track I continully gravitate towards is “Burned”, a sparse noir sounding song about a very toxic love triangle. “It’s the most exposing song I’ve ever written. Although we never spoke about our feelings, I guess this song was my way of communicating and understanding what I felt” explains Frenchie. “Sweet Boy” brings the EP to a close with its playful melody and infectious sing-song hook, the perfect end to this near faultless project.
So delicately warm in melodic delight, Frenchie takes listeners through her psyche on her eponymous debut. “The Naked Eye” EP is streaming exclusively on Stereofox today and is available to download tomorrow.Follow The Naked Eye on Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter
I can’t believe I’m finally sharing this with you all, ’The Naked Eye EP' is out on 26th… https://t.co/dFFiLF5Bfy— The Naked Eye (@TNE_Music) February 15, 2016