In her latest release, the wonderful “I Carry On,” Francine Honey flirts with some of the biggest harmonies her career has presented thus far and creates a lush ballad anyone with a taste for country-pop can appreciate. Steeped in Americana and mild singer/songwriter themes, “I Carry On” is available in two versions – a solo featuring Honey exclusively, and a duet that invites Robert Gray into the fold for some fun. Both tracks and their respective videos offer a beautiful look inside the artistry of a true Canadian powerhouse, and more specifically, a musician clearly on the verge of breaking through the mainstream.

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Robert Gray brings a smokiness to the main melody in the duet mix of “I Carry On” that really emphasizes the elegance of Honey’s voice like nothing else could have. He’s got a sharp skillset all on his own, but rather than stealing any of the spotlight away from the star of the show, he accentuates her performance with a contrasting timbre equally as spellbinding. They’ve got a terrific connection in this track, and in the simple music video that accompanies it, I think we get more than a good idea of how much chemistry they can cook up when they’re in a jam session.

I really love the string play in both cuts of “I Carry On.” Easily as attractive as any of the vocals are, there’s a soft harmonization created between the guitar parts and the more prominent piano melody that does a lot to authenticate Honey’s words as she sings them to us. She’s utilizing every element in this song as a means of getting her emotion across to us, and in doing so goes a long way towards establishing herself as one of the most well-rounded artists in her scene right now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shnXzgB3T-A

If you haven’t seen either of the music videos for “I Carry On” or simply listened to the most recent dispatches from Francine Honey, I’d recommend doing so as soon as possible. She’s onto another winning formula here, and as far as I’m concerned, I think she’s sounding more swaggering and full of life in this release than she did in last year’s sweet Take Me to the North Pole Christmas album. Honey is, for all intents and purposes, getting back to the barebones basics of being a singer/songwriter in “I Carry On,” and I couldn’t be more pleased with her efforts.

Sebastian Cole