“With painterly lyrics, wistful melodies, and that marvelous rich diamond of a voice, Julia had the style and grace to go fearlessly into whatever musical house we were building at the moment. Miss Francis delivers! I know, I was there.” –Victor DeLorenzo, Violent Femmes founding drummer
There are some voices that wilt against the howling wind. Some voices that can’t rise above the clamor of clinking glasses and lustful patrons. Some voices that won’t rip against a brick wall in a dark club attempting only to contain. But Julia Francis does not have just some voice. Hers, which rides the exquisite sonic swells of her band, The Secrets of Soul, is a voice like a muscle car screeching down a stretch of rainy midnight road.
Comprised of the unyielding vocalist Francis, the melodic-metronome bassist Irvin Joseph, the pinpoint guitar player Greg Warns and bopping drummer Darrell Warren, the Emerald City-based group, The Secrets of Soul, harken to the formation days of rock ‘n’ roll and soulful blues music. With mind clearing guitar solos and pronounced rhythmic strolls, the music, like a bursting cloud, washes out the gutters of one’s own mind time and time again.
And while it’s nearly impossible not to picture the great Janis Joplin when you hear Francis tear into a mic, there is more than sweet homage embedded in the songs and epic vocal performances. There is relationship and pain, bridges and waves, sunsets and daydreams in the front woman’s tone. And while the band is still in its early stages - the group formed in 2016 - there is enough wisdom in each of its musical swings to teach listeners new ways to believe in that which you can’t always see.
Band photos by Kaija Rae Photography