Robert Francis is a multi-instrumentalist, Americana singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, California. As the youngest member of a music-filled household, Robert benefited from a diverse musical climate thanks to his late pianist/producer father, his songwriting sister Juliette Commagere, and his Mexican mother, who sang native ranchera songs around the house. This musical upbringing eventually led to Francis’s 2007 debut, the musically diverse One by One, at the young age of 19. Five more studio albums have followed.
Robert’s 7th studio album and his newest effort, Indian Summer, will be released November 3rd on Aeronaut Records. Recorded over ten days in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, Francis plays every single instrument on the album. The songs touch on everything from complex relationships between blue-collar residents and refugees in Hamtramck, Michigan, the first majority-Muslim city in the United States, to a Native American couple’s ill-fated journey off a reservation in northeast California. As a lyricist Francis does not hold back, and the result is an album that is contemplative and immediate, a no-frills forty-seven minute examination of what it is to be alive in 2017.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Burn Out”, one of the standout tracks on Indian Summer. Beginning with a laid back groove reminiscent of J.J. Cale, the song has a delightfully mellow and sensual quality. Francis’ chorus is infectious, bringing to mind a bygone era when rockers like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen wrote soaring radio hits. Listening to “Burn Out” makes it abundantly clear that Robert Francis is an act to watch out for.
Reflecting on his inspiration for “Burn Out”, Francis has this to say:
“Last year I revisited two books by my favorite authors: ‘The Dogs Of Winter’ by Kem Nunn and ‘Already Dead’ by Denis Johnson. Both writers share the same preoccupation with the Northern California coast that I do. Denis called these little towns ‘places a person could disappear into,’ and said ‘they felt like little naps you might never wake up from – you might trow a tire and hike to a gas station and stumble unexpectedly onto the rest of your life.’ For me, this sums up the infatuation.
The archetypal rockstar has long disappeared, saturated over time and replaced with something more dependable. Artists are businessmen now. They’re expected to establish their ‘brand’ before they’re even sure of their identity. This was always difficult ground to navigate, so I’d fantasize about pulling the car off the highway and tucking into one of these towns that time forgot. To watch the sun go down in an unfamiliar place with strangers who are all there for the same reason as I am, and to never leave.”