Franka De Mille’s powerful, sultry voice is the centrepiece of this album. A mixture of alternative folk, brooding country and a tinge of the blues, Bridge The Roads is this English songstress’ debut album. It’s evident that PJ Harvey is a major influence in Franka’s music. The way she carries her voice through sombre, dark lyrics; turning these themes into a sense of hope and belonging with uplifting melodies – a talent that PJ Harvey has perfected.
Lyrically, Franka deals with the human emotion. The loss of her father is a direct influence in songs such as Oh My and Birds. However, there is still the joy of falling in love with Fallen and the partly French sung Gare Du Nord. The sound is stark and bare. Acoustic guitars and violins are the predominant instruments with odd dabble in steel guitar, percussion and orchestra arrangements. The minimalist musical approach allows her voice to dominate, as it should. Franka’s singing is a tribute to her heroines in Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush and aforementioned PJ Harvey.
This album has a beautiful quality about it. The songs draw you in and encapture your ears. This is a perfect album for an evening at home alone with a glass of red and your thoughts. It craves attention but still sits perfect as a background soundtrack. With such a fine voice, it would be a crime to not experience this record.