Here's a very late, but better than never discovery, Blackpool songstress Karima Francis (there must be an unwritten law that says singer/songwriters in Blackpool must possess exceptional balls of hair), who arrives on my horizon some three years after her debut album 'The Author', with the lead single to her second album 'The Remedy' (due later this year), the jaw-dropping 'Wherever I Go'.
Now I could start a long dwindling look into her past, but I'd rather look forward right now, so I'll start with my start, "Wherever I Go". What hit me first (and then again in the middle of the track, and then at the end) is her voice, wow her voice. It's sublime, rich, powerful and impassioned, Karima adds an extraordinary amount of weight to her heart-aching lyrics with seeming effortless ease, deftly backed by mellow guitar plucks and twinkling keys "Wherever I Go" is one of those spine tingling tracks that should, if there is any justice, define a career. That 'bloody hell, this is good' thought hits you the moment it starts, stays with you throughout the track and makes you want to hear it again the second it ends, that's the sign of something world class.
After an initial ten seconds that reminds me a little too much of "With A Little Help From My Friends", "Forgiven" turns into another insight into her incredible talents, her range belies common sense, genteel backing is all that's needed for Karima's captivating soulful croon to devastate your emotions. I've no idea how it's taken until April 2012 for Karima Francis to reach my attention, now she has, one thing is for certain, she won't be leaving it anytime soon.
Luckily for me (and you), if you live in the UK anyway, an extensive tour has been announced for April / May including stops at The Great Escape and London's Hoxton Hall on May 17th - full dates - see you there.