In the summer of 2020, Irish musician Aoife Nessa Frances moved to the west of Ireland to begin working on the songs that would become her second album, Protector. A lifelong Dublin resident, Frances found solace being removed from city life. But perhaps more importantly, like many people in their late twenties who have finally shaken off youthful rebelliousness, Frances also experienced a solidification of familial ties like never before, and felt the formation of a protective, impenetrable shell. Fittingly, just before the recording process, Frances’ mother experienced a vivid dream. In it, Aoife stood at the foot of a mountain with an Alsatian by her side, a companion and guard dog to protect her along the path she’d chosen. That image stayed with Aoife – feeling a protector's presence accompanying her during the intense period of transformation that followed.
Aoife’s an Irish singer songwriter, but well away from the traditional idea of what that means. Her sound is layered chamber pop with textures of psychedelia; what she creates is not what you would think of as a traditional, but the reference can’t be avoided. Across eight captivating songs we see small flecks of her very contemporay musical influences—from Broadcast and Amen Dunes to Patti Smith, Radiohead and Alice Coltrane. Ultimately, though, they are entirely Frances’ own.
With Protector, she delivers a glowing act of restoration. Informed by universal pain as well as the power of connection, these songs find their magic away from city streets, listening instead to the hum of life that reverberates through the natural world. They trap glimpses of light and then crystallize them into new modes of being.