Leroy Francis: The Soundtrack To My Ideal Prom Night
“I DRAW a lot of inspiration from the films I watch laying awake all night,” says Sydney multi-instrumentalist Leroy Francis. Which makes sense given his track ‘Intoxicated Dreams’ has that woozy, ’80s aesthetic that wouldn’t be out of place over the end credits of a John Hughes film.
Leroy didn’t get to go to his own high school formal – “I stole a barrel of Chupa Chups from the cafeteria in high school so was banned,” he says – but that hasn’t stopped him from putting together the soundtrack to his ideal prom night. “Like my beloved pizza, it’s fucken cheesy,” he says.
My dream girl has already said yes to someone. I took too long to ask so I take my friend. Cue: ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ by Saint Etienne. The best covers are those that have taken the song and made it their own. The lyrics are there but otherwise it’s in another world.
In an ill-fitting suit I turn up late. Everybody is already dancing to ‘Sure’ by Hatchie. My friend sees her rebel boy and leaves me against the wall. The use of acoustic and electric guitars in this song are done to perfection. Something I haven’t yet been able to achieve but I’ll keep my fingers crossed!
I’ve been sipping a flask I snuck in getting all drunk and sentimental. I notice my dream girl standing alone among the slow dancers and the disco ball reflections: ‘Surrender’ by Suicide. So simple, with only four chords repeating for its entirety, one drum beat driving Alen Vega’s self-deprecating lyrics held together by the backing vocals. It’s perfect.
I take a big swig and make my way through the crowd towards her. She looks sad so I offer her a swig but she has brought her own. ‘You’re The One’ by Donny Benét is playing as we start to enjoy the night. Songs with repeating lines like the short arpeggiated synth that continue throughout and underneath every chord change just get me. We join the slow dancers.
We are perfectly drunk as the DJ picks up the tempo with Sweet’s ‘The Ballroom Blitz’. For the sake of this playlist, ‘The Lord’s Favourite’ by Iceage is my ‘Ballroom Blitz’. I love
simplicity but the busy guitars, drums and vocals with all imperfections are put together
‘Champagne Coast’ by Blood Orange is playing as everyone starts to wind down and drift out of the hall. I love the sincerity and sensitivity in Dev Hynes’ voice. The music is so laidback I can’t help but slightly groove to it no matter where I’m listening.
The night is at its end as we smoke in the car park. She kisses me goodnight and I walk home alone listening to ‘One Thing’ by Beach House. How the driving guitar line refuses to play a single chord blows my mind. Powerfully minimal, letting your mind fill in the gaps is exactly how I’d have my night end.