As a sixteen-year-old in the late ’00s, indie was everything. It shaped the way I dressed, the music I adored, and the gigs I travelled to in search of the next gem. One such night, at the Manchester International Festival, Wu Lyf (aka World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation) played a secretive gig in a tunnel, an event that I will always remember and cherish. From the sweat-soaked passion of lead singer Ellery Roberts to the atmospheric and church-like qualities spouting from the instruments, I was utterly enthralled. Unfortunately, after releasing the highly coveted Go Tell Fire to the Mountain, and following several impressive tv and radio performances, Ellery abruptly brought an end to the group in 2012. I was shocked, and so were his bandmates too.
Seven years on, ex-Wu Lyf member Tom McClung returned with a new solo project titled Francis Lung, and his latest single, Brooklyn Gurls, is a reflection of the youthful mistakes stardom bares. Its initial debut was broadcasted on BBC Radio 1 during a somewhat infamous session Wu Lyf did for Huw Stephens in 2011. Francis still reflects on it to this day: “We were so rude and disrespectful to Huw during our interview, and I still feel bad about it”. You can sense that in Brooklyn Gurls too. He’s matured beyond his disobedient and rebellious years, producing music that is reflective and thoughtful. The gentle strumming of the guitar, the sensitive vocals that pull on the heartstrings, Tom is here, but Francis is pondering old times. Beautiful.
Brooklyn Gurls is out now. I highly recommend you give it a listen. Oh, and check out his debut album, A Dream Is U, too. It’s a belter of a record.