There are any number of reasons why you may have heard of Francis and the Lights. You could have caught them opening for Drake, on his Away From Home tour last spring, or for MGMT, or Ke$ha. You may have been an original believer in the digital mixtape site Muxtape, where they were an early fixture. Or it's possible you heard that they were the one of the first bands to ever be incorporated as an LLC, with an investment of $100,000 from the future-thinking but now defunct Normative Music Company.
Or could it simply be that you just like their music, the sleek, pared-down electro pop that's inspired its share of Prince and Peter Gabriel comparisons? Led by frontman Francis Farewell Starlight--yes, that's what his ID says--the New York-based band has inspired a modest but devoted following. This is music for an iPad generation. All three of their albums can be streamed for free along with two music videos on Muxtape, as well as being available for download on iTunes. For a band so focused on the digital, they make for a kinetic live act in person, where Francis cuts it up on stage so much, you might not even feel the need to.
This song, "For Days," is off their most recent album, 2010's It'll Be Better. Francis is no stranger to wistful, yearning lyrics, and these are some of his best. "It's a shame/that's what it is," he begins. "I've been watching you for days now/I'd never say/I wish that it would happen/but in a way I wish it would/.....If there was just an airstrike/ or a natural disaster/ you could have been mine." The strange notion of the apocalypse as a prompt for love comes out of nowhere, but then again so do airstrikes. And while the lyrics touch on something even deeper and darker maybe, who hasn't thought about pre- or post-apocalyptic love? It's oddly romantic in a way. Why haven't you heard of Francis and the Lights? It's a shame, that's what it is. But now you have.
On iTunes: Francis and the Lights / "For Days"