Francesca Lombardo-“Leaf Of Life”: Album Review

Francesca Lombardo is a classically trained vocalist and pianist originally from the Italian region of Lombardy. Early on in her career, she was known as Jackie Misfit and as a member of the all-female electro/rock/drum and bass band Purity and Def by Disco. 

Spanning a twenty-year career, you can find her Techno and House music on Lokomotiv Recordings, Echo/Echolette, Crosstown Rebels, Rebellion, Leftroom, Get Physical, Flying Circus and Armada. 

“Life of Leaf” is latest long player offering from Lombardo via Armada Music. Eleven songs deep, the new album features songwriting that is forward thinking and emotionally powerful. It’s a mixture of classical and electronics with a focus on the vocal performance and live playing versus creating on computers and synthesizers. Now close your eyes, take a couple deep breaths, let your mind relax and hit the play button. 

Throughout this collection of songs, Lombardo expertly utilizes live musicianship and performance, vocal deliveries that evoke varying degrees of emotions conveyed through personal story-telling and melodies that are haunting yet beautiful, along with electronic beats and rhythms that compliment, not outshining the live musicianship represented on each individual track.

Live performance of piano, strings, various percussion instruments, dreamy vocals and tastefully chosen electronics dazzle and create many different moods. Some songs have a more melancholic slant, while others bring thoughts of The Cocteau Twins, Book of Love and Julee Cruise ambience creations.

In the words of Francesca Lombardo herself, [“Life of Leaf”]… “Is a mixture of the styles I love, it reflects every aspect of my sound, telling my story through each lyric and every instrument or piece of equipment I’ve used. It represents me fully, 100% me.”

Most likely this album resonate with many, dream-pop lovers, fans of downtempo and beyond. There is definitely something for all to embrace. Track after track, you’ll be amazed in the skilled crafting of the song and lyric writing expressed in her music. Like I said before, it is dazzling and hauntingly beautiful! Album highlights include “Eye Ring,” “Rain,” “Paradise,” “Time Machine” and “Smiling Skies.”  

—JOSEPH WENSELL

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