When Francis Lung describes his new album as sounding “like a short Mancunian boy single-handedly trying to incite Beatlemania” he’s really not too far wide of the mark. Lung’s much-anticipated debut album A Dream Is U is both bold and enthusiastic, a kaleidoscopic journey informed by the greats but also one that is wonderfully enigmatic, the sound of a multi-instrumentalist tying together all manner of influences into one beautifully cohesive album.
Following on from the home-recorded Volumes 1 and 2 EPs, which contained titbits written during his time in Wu Lyf, A Dream Is U is the first fully-realised Francis Lung record, a studio undertaking brought to life with producer Brendan Williams (Dutch Uncles, GoGo Penguin), a colourful patchwork of vision and ingenuity. “Before we started recording I knew exactly what the arrangements were in my head” Francis says, reflecting on the time spent devising his new work. "It was kind of my mission to capture everything as it was in my imagination”.
Touching upon the universal themes of addiction, faith, and love in all of its confusion, A Dream Is U is a collection of characters and stories that plays out something like a Harvey Pekar comic strip; an obsessive chronicle of daily lives twisted into new shapes by the unique mind and manners of their narrator. With flashes of striking colour and an ever-present wry smile, Francis Lung has created a debut album that drifts between simple acceptance and exuberant yearning for more. “My favourite part is when it talks about escaping to another universe,” Francis says of one song in particular, Unnecessary Love. “Although it’s a doomed and impossible dream, it’s amusing to me that if we survive long enough it could be a real possibility.”
At times boisterous and radiant, elsewhere contemplative and brooding, A Dream Is U feels like being awake in dreams, like stepping outside of the daily rotation; like shadows leaving their dancing bodies to waltz away to their own tune. For fans of The Beach Boys, Belle and Sebastian and Elephant 6 Records.