Neal Francis has been playing the piano for as long as he can remember and always dreamed of becoming a musician. “Our first piano was in the dining room. I loved to perform for my family or anyone who would stand and watch,” he says. “My mom and dad had a huge influence on my taste. They both love music and it was playing in our house at all times.”
His long-awaited sophomore album, In Plain Sight, proves to be one of the year’s best releases, with the singer/songwriter’s unique musical genre-blend inarguably addictive. In his own words, his sound is eclectic: “Soul, R&B, funk, rock, disco, psychedelia, classical: All of those in a mix. I usually tell people it’s rock ‘n roll. Glide funk.”
A mesmerizing performer, he’s having such a good time, you almost overlook he’s a virtuoso on the keys. In Plain Sightis Neal’s way of inviting you to the party—and it’s one you definitely won’t want to miss. There’s a nostalgia to the layers of sounds, mixed with a definite newness. Be ready to play the shit out of it.
In Plain Sightcame about during the pandemic.“I was trapped at home like everyone else. We built out a studio in the church where I lived and recorded to tape. As the sessions progressed our start time crept later and later and ultimately almost all our recording took place at night.”
When asked which In Plain Sighttrack is his favorite, he says: “The song ‘Asleep’ is very special to me. I’m proud of the song, and I’ll never forget writing it. My girlfriend and I were in our basement studio and I was playing with some ideas at the keyboard. The structure of the tune began taking shape and she said she really liked it. It was already 11:00 p.m. so she went off to bed, and while she slept I finished the song. When she woke up I played her the completed demo!”
Here’s a day in the (touring) life of Neal Francis.
Date September 26, 2021
Time I woke up 8:30 a.m. (A luxuriously late start for tour.)
Every day starts with Stretching, meditation, coffee.
Breakfast consists of Coffee, fruit.
To get going I always Shower if there’s time, and drink coffee.
I don’t feel dressed without My wristwatch. A necklace of some kind.
Before I start working I must Stretch, meditate, and eat.
Currently working on Practicing for the show tonight.
But I’d really love to be Jumping into Lake Michigan.
Book I’m reading Love in the Time of Choleraby Gabriel García Márquez.
I don’t know how anyone ever Finds time for video games.
If I had to play one album on repeat, it would be Innervisions by Stevie Wonder.
The perfect midday consists of A nap.
To help get through the day I need To breathe. Drink water. Eat good food.
Not a day goes by without speaking to My dawgs [band], our tour manager Jack.
My daydreams consist of Random ideas, videos, theatrics, songs, jokes, memories. Good thoughts, bad thoughts.
In a perfect day, in a perfect world There will be peace and serenity.
I’ll always fight for Our right to party.
Currently in love with Our van squirrel Fancy.
Hoping to make time to watch Pig, the new Nicholas Cage film.
By my bedside I always have Whatever book I’m reading. My phone, which is also my alarm clock.
To help get through the night I set the motel room AC unit to “Constant Fan” mode.
Bed time Hopefully by 2:00 a.m.
When I think about tomorrow, it’s always Excitement. I love that I get to do this.