September has been a busy month for musician Francesca May.
She has released her second EP, Hopelessly Lovestruck, and also had the honour of opening for Mimi Webb when she performed at the Villa Marina.
Hopelessly Lovestruck is a story of falling in love and the ups and downs of a relationship.
It showcases her unique style of woven lyrical songwriting infused with 80s synth-pop.
Francesca said: ‘The whole EP tells the story of a fictional relationship from the start which feels like fate, to the end which is heartbreak, including all the ups and downs in between.
‘The songs on the EP were produced in a way that emphasises the journey these two people are on and the rollercoaster of emotions it brings.’
She wrote a few of the songs with her partner and producer Andrew Johnson in lockdown while living in London.
‘A lot of the inspiration came from people watching in a new city, the effects of the pandemic, and seeing how different people/relationships coped with the new world we were all involved in,’ she said.
Francesca and Andrew, who is originally from Liverpool, moved back to the island in 2021 and started the recording process in their small barn studio in Ballaugh.
They recorded the tracks themselves and then took them over to Rob Whiteley at Whitewood Studios in Liverpool to be mixed.
‘I poured everything into this EP, creating a journey that unravels throughout the track listing and shaping the production to create emotion,’ she said.
‘I am so pleased with how it turned out and can’t wait to share it with the world.’
The first single from the EP, Red Light, was released last November.
The synth-pop bop gained the attention of Dave Monks, the presenter of BBC Introducing in Merseyside. It led to Francesca being invited to perform at a BBC Introducing event held at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool two months later.
The second single, Yellow Line, was released in February alongside a self-recorded music video.
Its release quickly gained her recognition. Yellow Line was added to two official Spotify playlists in the first week – ‘Fresh Finds UK and IE’, and ‘We are Liverpool’.
Francesca released two other singles before the EP was finally released on September 1.
In total, the tracks have gained more than 28,000 streams on Spotify, in over 80 countries.
Francesca has been recording and releasing music for about six years.
Her musical inspirations include Fleetwood Mac, Maggie Rogers, Dylan and Kate Bush.
She grew up in Ramsey and at 17 moved to Liverpool to study music performance at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
Francesca described opening for Mimi Webb as an ‘incredible experience’: ‘It was such a whirlwind of a day, we didn’t really have time to stop and appreciate what was happening.
‘I walked onto the stage and was greeted so kindly by her fans.
‘They were dancing and swaying with every song of mine, I was even asked for a few selfies after the set.’