Francesca Blanchard’s “Loon Song” is the Sizzling Utopia of Summer

Francesca Blanchard © Josh Bernales
With her latest single and video “Loon Song”, singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard emphasizes the sense of revitalization felt when camping in the wilderness.
Stream: “Loon Song” – Francesca Blanchard

When taking a trip to the wildness, a green, fresh and secluded place far from the city, one has the impression that there aren’t a lot of sounds or that those around- the insects, the birds, the trees in the breeze- are in no way overpowering. But it’s these sounds that take a hold of our senses, act as camp leaders and direct us on our way.

“Loon Song” (released 19 August) by Burlington-based singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard begins with the distinct call of a loon, trailing above water and inviting us into the environment. Clear references set the scene throughout, for example ‘There’s something in the distance telling you to slow it down/ Drop the phone, look around’ and ‘Listen to the call across the lake.’ Blanchard asks ‘Can you feel the beat?/ That pounding in your chest that wakes you from a dream so deep/ You got high off a summer heat’ as the groove of the song alternates with the light beat and the laid-back sunniness of the chorus.

Loon Song - Francesca Blanchard
Loon Song – Francesca Blanchard
Can you hear that sound?
There’s something in the distance telling you to slow it down

Drop the phone, look around
Can you feel the beat?
That pounding in your chest that wakes you from a dream so deep
You got high off a summer heat
Man, there’s something good on the other side
Something big and beautiful you can’t deny

Towards the end of the song, backed by dreamy ‘aahhs’ is a paragraph of french, spoken in a near whisper. Blanchard suggests that you should imagine your life as like a big lake and that you are a bird perched in the trees hidden from the wind while waiting. Then you are on the other side of the lake, your wings reflecting the sun. You’ve launched yourself in the air, flying into something new.

The disco energy and laidback euphoria that bubbles and prances throughout encompasses the warming, celebratory mood. It’s something that is replicated in the accompanying video. Set in the solitude of a tranquil lake surrounding by greenery, Blanchard rows a canoe in the late afternoon with the destination being wherever the mind desires. She sits and lies on rocks, alone amongst the nature, and splashes and dances in the water as the sun sets with a coral glow. Around a campfire, she hangs with a group of friends, all of them energetically soaking up the togetherness and the purity of escaping the commotions of everyday life. 

The video was shot and directed by Josh Bernales and made in collaboration with Vermont-based hat company Skida. Bucket hats and baseball caps in bright florals and oceanic shades are styled with classic swimwear and shorts and t-shirts, because nothing completes a summery scene like complimentary outfits that signify heat.

Imagines ta vie comme un grand lac
Vaste, profond, sauvage et imprévisible
Et toi, un oiseau, perché dans les arbres
Caché du vent, tu attends…
Soudain, tu t’aperçois a l’autre côté  
Émerger du grand vide, posé sur l’eau
Tes ailes au reflet du soleil
Et la, tu te laches
Tu t’envoles, et tu pars à ta rencontre

““Loon Song” was inspired by a 2am loon call I heard on a camping trip earlier this summer,” Blanchard tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s a sound that always seems to ground me, to fuel my gratitude for the present moment and excitement for what’s to come.”

Francesca Blanchard is French born and raised but currently based in Burlington, Vermont. “Loon Song” follows her 2020 debut album Make It Better which, being gentle and poetic, makes the new release appear with an extra burst of energy. 

The song recalls that idea, that myth in life, that the grass is greener on the other side. Maybe it’s an event or place that you’ve left behind or the notion that things would be better if you took an alternative route to what you’re doing right now. However, in this case and this environment, the other side of the lake is basically the same- all a part of the same location in its bubble of tranquility. It’s therefore like we should live every day as though it’s the freedom of a summer’s camping trip, while listening to what’s natural within and around us and following the opportunities that call us.

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Stream: “Loon Song” – Francesca Blanchard

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Loon Song - Francesca Blanchard

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