Francis of Delirium Talks Incorporating Pop Into Their Grunge Sound

Grunge is the main vein that pumps blood into Francis of Delirium. The walls of distortion and vocals that transition from don’t-give-a-fuck to emotional and flowery in this rock band are the epitome of the genre.

Yet frontwoman Jana Bahrich, half of the duo that includes Chris Hewitt, says come spring, Francis of Delirium will be showing a much more poppy side to their sound.

Last year Francis of Delirium released their debut EP All Change, which includes scratchy in-your-face tracks like “Quit Fucking Around” and “Ashamed.” Leaning more towards their grunge roots, All Change has obvious inspirations from grunge pioneers like Hole, Sonic Youth, or Garbage. But you can tell by the catchy guitar riffs that Francis of Delirium was already tapping into their more optimistic pop side. Wading, their sophomore EP out this April, embraces that experimentation.

Francis of Delirium “Let It All Go”

“Coming into this EP [Wading] I’ve been listening to a ton of Caroline Polachek and have just been really into pop music,” Bahrich tells BTRtoday. “So, brighter, [more] synth, and stacked vocals—just trying to fill out the sound a little more than we did with the first EP while still keeping the foundation of the songs rough and rock and grungy.”

Though both of the EPs were written in 2019, they were recorded several months apart, making them like those kinds of twins that are nothing alike.

The All Change EP was the duo’s first time attempting to record, so Bahrich says they were more into keeping the music simple while experimenting with the recording process. Once they got back into the studio to record Wading, they were ready to buff up their melodies and add intricate instrumentation and vocalizations into the mix.

“We tried to strip away a lot of excess instruments [for All Change] and keep it very raw, just guitar, bass, vocals, and drums—we were trying to make a raw grunge EP,” she says. “I wanted to fill out the rest of the sound [for Wading] with things that you might associate more with pop music.”

Francis of Delirium “Lakes”

With two tracks already released for Wading, “Let It All Go” and “Lakes,” the new EP is setting the stage from some very catchy tunes that are bound to get stuck in your head this spring. Bahrich admits she’s constantly telling herself to let go and not overthink things, and this EP is the product of that mantra.

Hear the entire interview with Jana Bahrick on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup, along with Francis Delirium’s debut EP All Change in its entirety and the two latest tracks from the upcoming EP Wading, out April 10.