Francis Farewell Starlite, the impeccably tailored leader of Wesleyan‘s Francis And The Lights, recently told NYC’s Village Voice that the primary influence behind his music is Strunk & White’s Elements Of Style. And, difficult as it can be to tell these days, I don’t think he’s kidding.
On his unprecedentedly fan-friendly website, press photos (see the handsome cross-breed of Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker’s Dracula above) precede each of his minimalist funk concertos, warning the listener of the confident fastidiousness to come. You see, Francis And The Lights take great pains to sound so laid-back. That’s how they sound like Prince, but they also sound like Peter Gabriel. And math.
The contradiction-loaded result is so distinct that it’s had bloggers (Kanye West included!) losing it from day one.
Watch Francis And The Lights’ “The Top” video below, and listen to all of their songs (including some incredible pop covers — to the left, to the left!) for free at francisandthelights.com.