Canadians are no strangers to French/English bilingual songwriters, those often Quebecois/e performers who trudge through the complexities of a split national identity using the most fundamental indices of language. Francesca Blanchard is similarly a child of two worlds, English-speaking Vermont and wine-swilling France, but her identities are decidedly separate, and not just because of an ocean or a language.
When Blanchard sings in English, her songs have a country directness: songs of love and loss are accented by playful guitar finger-picking and confident delivery. The rest of her songs are delivered in perfectly inflected French, with a raw emotion that effectively communicates the feeling beyond and within the words. She plays the two languages against each other seamlessly through her records and live sets, exploring the intricacies and connotations of both. Monoglots of all sorts need not fear however: whether you speak only English, French or Cantonese, Francesca Blanchard is speaking to you, and there is no question you’ll understand it when you hear it.