On the eponymously titled final song of her debut album Land of No Junction, Irish songwriter Aoife Nessa Frances (pronounced Ee-fa) sings “Take me to the land of no junction/Before it fades away/Where the roads can never cross/But go their own way.” It is this search that lies at the heart of the album, recalling journeys towards an ever shifting centre – a centre that cannot hold – where maps are constantly being rewritten.
The songs traverse and inhabit this indeterminate landscape: the beginnings of love, moments of loss, discovery, fragility and strength, all intermingle and interact. Land of No Junction is shot through with a sense of mystery – an ambiguity and disorientation that illuminates with smokey luminescence.
Navigated by the richness of Aoife’s voice, along with the layers gently built through her collaborators’ instruments (strings, drums, guitars, keys, percussion) gives a feeling of filling up space into every corner and crack. A remarkable coherent sonic world: buoyant and aqueous, with dark undercurrents. Where nostalgia and newness ebb and flow in equal measure.
“Turn on, tune in, drop off: dreamy debut from enigmatic Irish auteur.... questing for the freedom to explore her own private Narnia in peace. A place of quiet certainty - it's a compelling landscape to ponder in a treacherous age.” Album of the Month, Uncut
“The Irish songwriter’s voice shines like a headlight in fog. Her debut abounds with deceptively serene serenades and surprising lyrical shifts.” Pitchfork
“One of 2020’s best albums, and it’s still only January.” The Arts Desk