Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music, at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
When Karima Francis begins to sings, you're immediately affected. She's singing from the back-end of a two-car crash, a collision that left both vehicles barely recognizable. They lie there wheezing and hissing, garbled piles of metal in a pool of black blood and gasoline. She was in one of those cars. She might have been driving. You're sure of it. The way she's walking around the wreckage, the way she's shaking her head, the way that she can't find anyone else - victim or survivor - beside herself, it's evident that she's going to be dwelling on this traumatic meeting.
It's this intersection of being in one moment where none of this was a concern, where things were normal and mostly good, and then something like this happened. Everything was turned upside-down, and most of its bones were broken - turned into something that was hardly recognizable. That of the past has been wiped fully from relevance and here she is stunned and suddenly feeling about as helpless as you can get. Francis has this way of singing about loneliness that makes it feel like something that she's been dealing with for as long as she can remember, but she churns it up with a sense that this has all just suddenly struck her, blindsided her and the impact has been staggering. She can't eat. She can't move.
She finds little comfort in anything. She's unable to fall back on her sweeter memories, for the glory days of a relationship are over and any thought given to them will only compound the hurt that she feels. She wants to shout and she wants just a little warmth to sidle up to her. It's all she needs - some residue from what used to be, even if it turned toxic. She needs something to remind her of better times. She finds the future to be daunting, because of this, and we already know what she makes of the past. All said, however, she insists, "Life is only as hard as we make it," and, through all of this, she sounds like she might have some hope left in her. She'll walk away from that wreckage eventually and she'll find happiness elsewhere.
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