While they aren’t the most sparkling component of the master mix, the strings that form the supple melody in the background of “I Carry On” from Francine Honey are undeniably the icing on a near-perfect cake. Colliding in a gentle tussle with the percussion and piano keys, the guitar parts are as important to shaping the narrative here as any lyrics Honey (or Robert Gray, in the case of the alternate mix) will sing. This is multidimensional country/pop, and amidst a hit or miss year for the genre, it couldn’t be coming to record stores soon enough this month.
MORE ON FRANCINE HONEY: https://francinehoney.com/
Beyond the instrumentation, Francine Honey’s virtuosic vocal tells us a lot about where she’s at without even considering the lyrics she’s actually singing. She puts all of her heart and soul into tonality here, and though that might seem a little out of place in a country song (to some, not including myself), it works excellently for this specific scenario. Every single is different, as is every video – just the two videos made for this track are polar opposites aesthetically – and Honey has been wise to treat each bit of material she’s released with the kind of care that preserves individuality over attempts at being iconic in spirit.
The duet between Honey and Gray gives us exclusive access to a different lens through which to hear “I Carry On,” but nevertheless, I don’t think it’s any more powerful a performance than what’s to be discovered in the solo version of the track. The music video is very fun and laid back, featuring a recording session instead of any cinematic plot, and won me over – to some degree – through its lack of over the top theatrics. Honey doesn’t need any bells and whistles when she sings; she’s got her voice, and that’s all I require in her work.
If this is what Francine Honey has planned for her next full-length studio album, I think the 2020s are going to be her decade for sure. She lays on the melodic gold like her life depends on it in “I Carry On,” and based on what I know about her past recordings, I think she’s merely getting us prepped for whatever exciting wallop of texture n’ tonality she has lined up to see release before the year’s end. I’ll be waiting for her next song’s arrival, and I highly doubt I’ll be the only one.
by Bethany Page