by Connor Benincasa
If I had to pick one word to describe “Maybe” by JW Francis, it would be “VIBEY.” What does that really mean though? Let’s put it this way: this is a song I would put on a playlist at a chill hang situation to get people to think I’m cool. But I’m not cool, at least not as cool as this song is. This song is skateboarding at night and smoking spliffs on the roof. Or maybe it’s so cool that it’s actually TOO cool for drugs!
The track begins with a funky bassline that brings Vampire Weekend and Steve Lacey to mind, immediately hooking the listener, and reeling them into a wavy cartoon house party, like you accidentally ate a pot brownie at Rocko’s house. It sounds like JW Francis was having a lot of fun making this song, and this comes through especially in his lo-fi, distorted vocals, reminiscent of the infamous Ari*l P*nk (I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t have drawn the comparison unless I really felt it). The drums groove hard with a few choice gospel-esque fills, and warbly, pitch-shifting guitars and synths give the whole track a tapey feel, like the best sort of Tame Impala song.
JW Francis is a talented producer who has a few cool tricks up his sleeve. The song is jazzy, hip, and put together well. If I had one critique, it would be that it sounds too much like other stuff out there, like a pastiche or mashup of a few trendy elements. But isn’t that what music is anyway? You take from the artists you like and make something uniquely your own. I’m interested to hear more from JW Francis, and eager to see if he’s only a one-trick pony, or some kind of horse wearing sunglasses DJing that cartoon party in my mind.