PREMIERE: Francesca Gonzales fuses soul and electronica on ‘Baby Give It Up’
It’s no easy feat to combine the smooth, natural feel of soul or RnB with the electronic stylings of dance-pop, yet Melbourne singer-songwriter FRANCESCA GONZALES makes it sound easy. With her latest cut ‘Baby Give it Up’, she’s outdone herself on all fronts, all the while sharing a vital message.
Earlier tracks like ‘Better Person’ from last year were exemplary, combining jazzy percussion with an electronic feather-touch, letting her remarkably mature and evocative songwriting flourish. Co-produced by Matt Neighbour, ‘Baby Give it Up’ evolves this sound to an infectiously groovy level, with a greater focus on a dance-y electronic sound that effortlessly complements Francesca‘s neo-soul leanings.
Right away we’re treated to an impeccably catchy beat, sounding like a long-lost soul sample that is constantly expanding. Woozy synths and keys set the scene while Francesca‘s vocals soar, switching between breathy lows and piercing highs without fail. From the fantastic bass to the flowing sax, every element comes together the create a bulletproof groove that doesn’t let up – all while Francesca drops some hard-hitting truths.
‘Baby Give It Up’ draws upon a sadly all-too-familiar reality to women. After being harassed by a male punter at a music festival and hearing similar stories from her friends, Francesca aimed “to write this song as a message to people who don’t take no for an answer.” The song is appropriately blunt in its execution of this as she tells the perp to “walk away” because she “needs [her] space.”
Although sexual harassment at festivals seems to be rising, so too is awareness of the issue. We’re slowly seeing the narrative turn – more incidents are being reported and more people are being held accountable for their actions, and as such ‘Baby Give It Up’ is an immensely powerful song that has struck at the perfect time. Music is the perfect platform for such an important issue, and on that front Francesca Gonzales excels – it’s a bonus that the song is a straight bop as well.
IMAGE BY THOM MITCHELL
WORDS BY MAX LEWIS