Soul Man Neal Francis Contemplates Raw Emotions and Sobriety in "Changes" (premiere)

Photo: Olivia Quinn / Courtesy of Pavement PR

On "Changes", Chicago's Neal Francis embodies the spirit of classic New Orleans artists such as Dr. John, the Meters, Allen Toussaint as well as the deep and mysterious roots music of Leon Russell.

Chicago's Neal Francis releases his latest LP, Changes, on 20 September via Colemine Records sister imprint Karma Chief Records. Francis embodies the spirit of classic New Orleans artists such as Dr. John, the Meters, Allen Toussaint as well as the deep and mysterious roots music of Leon Russell.

The title song proves this through its seductive but spooky musical maneuvers, its invitation into the mysterious, and need for, if not entirely redemption, then, as the title suggests, change. Francis says, "It's a very personal song for me. The lyrics came when I was newly sober and things were raw. It's about relationships shifting their weight and fading away, and not having to feel chained to the character or deeds of your past. Cameron Lew did a great job subtly referencing those themes in the video, while still leaving enough room for people to filter the piece through their own experience. I'm so proud of him and everyone who worked on it."


SEP 12 THU - Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina - Mount Pleasant, SC

SEP 13 FRI - Georgia Theatre - Athens, GA

SEP 14 SAT - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA

SEP 15 SUN - Pisgah Brewing Company - Black Mountain, NC

SEP 17 TUE - Barrymore Theatre - Madison, WI

SEP 19 THU - The Ready Room - St Louis, MO

SEP 20 FRI - Knuckleheads Saloon - Kansas City, MO

SEP 21 SAT - Schubas - Chicago, IL

OCT 10 THU - Meow Wolf - Santa Fe, NM [w/ Black Pumas]

OCT 11 FRI - Globe Hall - Denver, CO [w/ Black Pumas] (SOLD OUT)

OCT 12 SAT - Globe Hall - Denver, CO [w/ Black Pumas] (SOLD OUT)

OCT 13 SUN - Globe Hall - Denver, CO [w/ Black Pumas]

OCT 14 MON - The State Room - Salt Lake City, UT [w/ Black Pumas]

OCT 16 WED - Rickshaw Theatre - Vancouver, Canada [w/ Black Pumas]

OCT 17 THU - Shakedown - Bellingham, WA [w/ Black Pumas]

OCT 18 FRI - Neumos - Seattle, WA [w/ Black Pumas]

OCT 19 SAT - Wonder Ballroom - Portland, OR [w/ Black Pumas]

OCT 21 MON - The Independent - San Francisco, CA [w/ Black Pumas]

OCT 22 TUE - The Independent - San Francisco, CA [w/ Black Pumas] (SOLD OUT)

OCT 23 WED - Regent Theater DTLA - Los Angeles, CA [w/ Black Pumas]

OCT 24 THU - Lodge Room Highland Park - Los Angeles, CA [w/ Black Pumas] (SOLD OUT)

OCT 25 FRI - Soda Bar - San Diego, CA [w/ Black Pumas] (SOLD OUT )

OCT 26 SAT - Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ [w/ Black Pumas]

OCT 27 SUN - 191 Toole - Tucson, AZ [w/ Black Pumas]





12 Essential Kate Bush Songs

While Kate Bush is a national treasure in the UK, American listeners don't know her as well. The following 12 songs capture her irrepressible spirit.


Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish Replace Form with Risk on 'Interactivity'

The more any notions of preconceived musicality are flicked to the curb, the more absorbing Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish's Interactivity gets.


Martin Green's Junkshop Yields the Gritty, Weird Story of Britpop Wannabes

Featuring a litany of otherwise-forgotten budget bin purchases, Martin Green's two-disc overview of coulda-been Britpop contenders knows little of genre confines, making for a fun historical detour if nothing else.


Haux Compellingly Explores Pain via 'Violence in a Quiet Mind'

By returning to defined moments of pain and struggle, Haux cultivates breathtaking music built on quiet, albeit intense, anguish.


'Stratoplay' Revels in the Delicious New Wave of the Revillos

Cherry Red Records' six-disc Revillos compilation, Stratoplay, successfully charts the convoluted history of Scottish new wave sensations.


Rising Young Jazz Pianist Micah Thomas Debuts with 'Tide'

Micah Thomas' Tide is the debut of a young jazz pianist who is comfortable and fluent in a "new mainstream": abstraction as well as tonality, freedom as well as technical complexity.


Why Australia's Alice Ivy Doesn't Want to Sleep

Alice Ivy walks a fine line between chillwave cool and Big Beat freakouts, and her 2018 debut record was an electropop wonder. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, she tries to keep the good vibes going with a new record decked out in endless collaborations.


Five Women Who Fought the Patriarchy

Whether one chooses to read Square Haunting for the sketches of the five fascinating women, or to understand how misogyny and patriarchy constricted intellectual and public life in the period, Francesca Wade's book is a superb achievement.


Director Denis Côté on Making Film Fearlessly

In this interview with PopMatters, director Denis Côté recalls 2010's Curling (now on Blu-Ray) discusses film as a "creative experiment in time", and making films for an audience excited by the idea of filling in playful narrative gaps.


Learning to Take a Picture: An Interview With Inara George

Inara George is unafraid to explore life's more difficult and tender moments. Discussion of her latest music, The Youth of Angst, leads to stories of working with Van Dyke Parks and getting David Lee Roth's musical approval.


Country Westerns Bask in an Unparalleled Sound and Energy on Their Debut

Country Westerns are intent on rejecting assumptions about a band from Nashville while basking in an unparalleled sound and energy.


Rediscovering Japanese Director Tomu Uchida

A world-class filmmaker of diverse styles, we take a look at Tomu Uchida's very different Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji and The Mad Fox.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.