Lighthouse is a wonderfully dreamy and warm debut album from alt-rock artist Francis of Delirium.

Release date: March 22, 2024 | Dalliance Recordings | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp

It’s not unusual, as we get older, to have our tastes develop and change in peculiar and surprising ways. If you had told teenage kvlt hat-wearing, edgelord me that in 15 years I’d be writing a review of an alt-rock album from a young Canadian woman and that I had very positive things to say about, well, I’d probably give myself a confused and disappointed look. I’d likely also have some reasonably vile things to say when future me proposes changing my attitude in school so I didn’t end up unemployed at 30 and on the verge of a mental breakdown, but hey-ho, we’re not here to unpack my issues – let’s instead delve into Francis of Delirium’s lovely debut album.

Written over a period of two years, Luxembourg-based Jana Bahrich’s Lighthouse is a blend of fuzzy, warm, synth-layered pop and melodious guitar-driven alt-rock. An unintentional concept album that follows love from its infancy through to its inevitable end, Jana has managed to craft a, simply put, lovely album that is a pleasure to listen to. Even after sitting with this album for a couple of months now, having received a press copy prior to interviewing Jana for an Everything is Noise WFA, I find myself enjoying a revisit for this review.

From the opening track “Ballet Dancers (Never Love Again)” we are taken in by the warm, reverb-drenched embrace of Jana’s vocals and picked guitar chords that set a dreamy, yet dreary scene; a backdrop that is present for most of this album. “Want You” is a wonderfully slow and moody dream pop ballad that I’m sure will end up on some love-forlorn fool’s playlist soon enough.

Even with the growth away from Francis of Delirium’s more grunge-influenced EPs, we are still treated to moments of heaviness through distorted guitar riffs; at the end of the day, this is still very much in the vein of alt-rock. “Blue Tuesday” is a bit of a bridge between Francis of Delirium’s more grunge-esque EPs and the more tender tones that appear across Lighthouse. Similarly, “Something’s Changed” is a heart-string tugger of a track that leans on the heavier side, at least as far as this album goes, with Jana’s vocals during the chorus acting as an airy respite and textural counterpoint.

I’d be amiss without mentioning the final song on the album, “Give It Back to Me”, which I discussed briefly with Jana back in February. Conceptually, a track that talks about sharing love as if it was a gift that you can pass on. Musically, it shares a passing resemblance to airy and swirling sounds of Beach House’s Depression Cherry, mainly through the slide guitar. The whole song pulls up this imagery of driving down a long highway towards a deep red and dusty yellow horizon.

Now, while I thoroughly enjoy this album, I can recognise that this might be a bit tame for some. This is far away from any genre-pushing or experimental indie rock album, so if that’s the only thing you are looking for then this isn’t it. This is for the most part an incredibly accessible album that doesn’t challenge or make for a difficult listen, and sometimes that’s exactly what is needed. If you are looking to enjoy a warm, all around pleasurable alt-rock album with some strong hooks and sweeping melodies, then look for the shoreline and find the beam coming from Lighthouse. The waters are calm and the temperature is just right.

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