God and sex, in some circles, are considered taboo topics. But the music Dallas songwriter Francine Thirteen intertwines the two in such an effective and tantalizing manor, that you can’t help but want to talk about it. Growing up in a Southern Baptist home, Francine Thirteen has forged her own path to interpreting and reimagining sacred texts with a mind toward the power of femininity – confident, collected, and consuming. On her previous release, Lust Heals, Give Me My Sin Again, she used this perspective to reimagine the creation story of the Bible, crafting a new character named Lily to represent, as she told NPR last year, “an empowered feminine essence that takes ownership over one's own thoughts and one's own body.”
It’s not just that Francine Thirteen takes on these ideas that’s so compelling, but the manner in which she pristinely executes them that is truly astounding. It’s not something she’s done reckoning with either. She continues to explore tenants of religion and sexuality on her latest song, “Communion.”
“This song is inspired by my own fascination with the concept of sex as sacrament.” Francine Thirteen tells KEXP. “Whereas my previous EP, Lust Heals, Give Me My Sin Again, was a call to embrace the shadow self, this song and the forthcoming project is a call to act upon the shadow self. ‘Communion’ explores the healing properties of pleasure without inhibition.”
Francine Thirteen’s voice moves like holy smoke between the booms of bass and methodical taps of percussion. Her vocals reverberate in their falsetto at the top of the song, singing, “He knows how to touch me at the right time,” before the metallic grind swings into view. She replies back to herself, saying she knows how to take her lover “into the higher mind.” As she says, her vision of sex is divine sacrament, an exchange between two souls. The beat rises and falls, breaks and reemerges. Her voice dips high and low. The rhythms reflect a powerful darkness; not sinful, but indulgent in lovely excess. It’s hypnotic and engrossing. Francine Thirteen’s vision seems like it exists on another holy plane. It’s hard not to be swept away by the power in her words and the ensnaring pulse of the beats, itself feeling like a sacrament.
Listen to the song below.
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