Los-Angeles based singer-songwriter, Francis Karel, released his newest single ‘Small Talk‘ today, divulging his recent heartache and its complexities to his fanbase. It not only serves as an introduction to his upcoming debut EP ‘Handle With Care‘, but also gives us an insight into what Karel is currently taking creative inspiration from. The highly anticipated EP is set to come out on August 26th.
Francis Karel spent his formative years living in Jakarta, Indonesia, invigorated by the art of writing and creating music. This led to him packing his bags and moving over to The United States from his homeland, to make a name for himself in music. His story shows the real beauty in a musician’s love for their work and artistry.
First and foremost, ‘Small Talk‘ is a beautifully written and produced track. Karel’s vocals are so powerful, that you feel a real sense of urgency for him to relinquish this pain from his body and onto the page. The passion and grit in his voice is similar to that of singer-songwriter, Dermot Kennedy, an artist known for his great vocal range and power.
The steady beat and simple piano it features, grow louder and fuller as momentum is picked up. The track gains great depth because of this, giving us the impression of him processing his feelings and gradually releasing them as the song advances.
I didn’t realize it at first, but a lot of the songs I’ve written have been very therapeutic for me to listen back to. It’s like each song is a part of the process of closing chapters.Francis Karel
To date, Francis’ songs (Small Talk in particular) are highly emotive, both lyrically and in the feelings they evoke within his listeners. It’s clear he uses music as an outlet to deal with and face tender emotions, like heartbreak in this instance. ‘Small Talk‘ is about navigating these emotions as your first romantic relationship comes to an end and coping with the heartache that follows it. It is nostalgic in the way it looks back at how things were before, compared to the lackluster pleasantries and ‘Small Talk‘ they now share. However, he recognises it’s better than nothing and would rather that than lose them entirely.
Talking 5 year plans like we’d make it that far, every good thing ends, we just don’t know when… Now all we have is small talk, how’s the weather, did your mum call?Francis Karel- Small Talk
Additionally, Francis Karel just wrapped up his time accompanying Andy Grammar on his US tour. An experience that I’m sure felt momentous in the making of his career.
Social media platforms like TikTok have had a real impact on the way young musicians can promote their music and demonstrate their creativity to the wider public today. Francis Karel is a prime example of this as he’s had much attention circulating on TikTok and built quite the following, with 2.3m followers to his name. There is such a power and influx of opportunities available to people today because of the internet, and it’s great to see an artist like Karel being recognised as a result of this.