Last we checked in with Ireland’s Aoife Nessa Frances, she had teamed with Jack Name on the shimmering, psychedelic folk-pop tune “Watching The Willows” in 2021. She’s since dropped a whole album, last year’s Protector, and today she’s unveiling a new unreleased song from those sessions. “Fantasy” begins with harps and a drowsy Frances vocal, and it blooms into a gliding psych-pop panorama that has me wanting to go back and check out Protector.
Frances had quite a bit to say about the new tune:
With “Fantasy” I took inspiration from the High Priestess Tarot card. I was learning to read tarot at the time of writing the song, spending time with each card so that I could soak in meaning. The High Priestess depicts a woman sitting on a throne, between two pillars symbolising her role as a mediator between the different worlds. Drawing on this imagery, I wrote “Fantasy” as a reflection of her essence and symbolism. She embodies the bridge between two worlds, connecting the realms of intuition and the conscious mind. Each lyric connects to her and her surroundings: swimming between the pillars as a form of duality, standing at the threshold, guarding the secrets to the subconscious mind, darkness and light, femininity and masculinity. Water as emotion; representing the depths of the unconscious mind, bringing a sense of fluidity and adaptability, emphasising the importance of embracing change and allowing emotions to flow naturally. The falling fruit as a symbol for change and transformation, the pomegranate from the cards imagery, a symbol for sexuality and regeneration. Writing ‘Fantasy’ took me on my own journey of self-discovery, connecting me to my own intuition. Méabh McKenna’s harp throughout the song acts like a flowing river, a constant presence that underscores the meaning. While “Fantasy” was written during the same period as Protector, I decided to keep it separate because it occupies a unique space for me.
Below, watch director Sean McMahon’s video for “Fantasy.”