TRACK | Aoife Nessa Frances – Here in the Dark

5/5 golden merles

As a rule I don’t trust any song over 3 minutes. There are exceptions, many of them, but generally songwriters just don’t have that much to say on any given subject. Or at least not nearly as much as they think that they do… If I wanted to hear the chorus four times I’d loop the track.

But in this case, with Aoife Nessa France’s “Here in the Dark” running to 5:14, every second feels earned.

It works in concert with the void it fills, not so much against it. Minimal instrumentation is set to the task of accompanying the singer-songwriter substratum. Glacial and understated, spirals of synth and strings fittingly accent the core elements of voice and guitar.

The song/record has a different scope and pacing to most material in the genre, but without sacrificing some underlying mechanics or the appropriate measure of attention to detail. I don’t just mean BPM, there’s a kind of assurance to it. It doesn’t take the audience for granted but also does without pandering or indulging. There’s a recurring and really well realized construction.