Francesca Blanchard is a singer and songwriter currently living in Burlington, Vermont.
Francesca’s early years were spent in the south of France where she was raised in a bilingual household by her French father and American mother. Francesca’s family settled in Vermont when she was 10 years old, but she continued to travel the world with her parents, whose work for humanitarian aid agencies brought her to Ethiopia, Burundi, South Korea, Mauritania, Rwanda, Kenya, Egypt, Thailand, Australia, Honduras, Tanzania, Guatemala, India and more.
Over the years, Francesca took to acting and singing, performing in plays and writing songs on her mother’s old guitar. In 2011, when she was 18, Francesca independently released the EP Songs from an Ovation, featuring songs in French and English. Soon, the EP began earning Francesca local acclaim, leading Vermont weekly Seven Days to rave “Barely out of high school, the local singer-songwriter already displays guile and artistic sensitivity that would be the envy of many tunesmiths twice her age — and, for that matter, music critics of a similarly mature vintage. Her debut EP is quietly and profoundly stunning. It is a humble ode to love, heartbreak and home that says more about all three topics in the span of 17 minutes than some songwriters do over entire careers.”
After graduating from Boston University with a BFA in Acting, Francesca released her debut album, deux visions, in 2015. Deux visions (which translates as “two visions” and plays on the word “divisions”) featured original songs in French and English and was roundly praised by local and international media. The Vermont daily The Times Argus enthused, "Deux visions shines on the strength of Blanchard’s accomplished compositions, tasteful guitar work and gorgeous vocals. A seamless mix of folk, jazz and roots-rock with some French chanson thrown in for good measure. The most ambitious and impressive debut album to come out of Vermont since Grace Potter.” Jazz Weekly wrote, “Singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard sounds like a throwback to the old days of folk singers that came from Laurel Canyon in the 70s. This album has her singing in English and French, with acoustic and electric guitar, with a voice that has a hint of early Joni Mitchell and a feel of Neil Young.”
Francesca has toured extensively in North America and Europe, headlining her own shows and opening for Joan Armatrading, Suzanne Vega, Lucy Dacus, Lauren Ruth Ward, JOSEPH, Caravan Palace, the Von Trapps, Yuna, Lissie and others. She performed at the prestigious FrancoFolies Festival of Montreal in 2013 and 2015, the Calgary Folk Festival in 2016 and was presented by tastemaker outlets such as Daytrotter, Sofar, WFUV Radio, and others.
Following an intense year of touring, Francesca decided to sign up for Outward Bound and spent the first half of 2017 backpacking and trekking through the West Coast and Ecuador, where Francesca chose to extend her stay to volunteer as a music and theatre teacher for children of low-income families. During that period, she released the single “My Heart.”
In July of 2017, she returned home, and started writing again.
Francesca’s music reflects on the transition of a young artist growing into herself. Her new songs convey different stages of heartbreak and a pining for freedom against internal odds. In her new work, Francesca brings sarcasm, self-deprecation and a certain light-heartedness to soften the blow of coming to terms with one’s self. Re-defined production and a new ear for sonic arcs (along with a self-imparted responsibility to have a little more fun) propel Blanchard in a fresh and unpredictable direction.
Her revised approach has already led to new milestones. In October 2017, Francesca’s single “Free” was featured prominently in a pivotal closing scene on the ABC TV series Grey’s Anatomy. The size of her audience mushroomed, leading to massive jumps in her social media following and the inclusion of a number of her songs on influential Spotify playlists.
In January 2018, Francesca released the single “Maria,” which she had written for a benefit concert to aid Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. A love song "from the point of view of an island, to a woman named Maria,” proceeds from the single were donated to hurricane relief efforts on the island.
Francesca is currently finishing the production of her second album, which she plans to release in 2019.
"Maria" is a song I wrote for a benefit concert for Puerto Rico and the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It is a love song, written from the point of view of an island, to a woman named Maria." - Francesca
"Free" was written while I was sitting on my dad's back porch in Miami, staring out at one of the most beautiful sunsets I'd ever seen. I thought of what it would be like to witness that kind of spectacle every day, no matter the season...how liberating it would feel to be constantly reminded of how small we are in relation to everything else. And be OK with that."
The new single from singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard addresses the emotion and challenges of love.
The title of Francesca Blanchard’s first full-length record, deux visions, speaks volumes in its own right, hinting at the richness of the music the album contains. It encapsulates the singer-songwriter’s dual identity on several levels: one word in French and the other in English, together meaning “two visions” and together enunciating the sound of the word “divisions.”