Francis of Delirium’s woozy indie pop is brighter than ever

After making waves with early EPs, on her debut album, Francis of Delirium takes her sound to new, more joyful places.


Francis of Delirium, otherwise known as 22-year-old Jana Bahrich, has been making waves in the small but mighty music scene of Luxembourg. Paving the way for a generation of new artists coming up, Francis of Delirium’s debut album sees a new chapter unfolding for them. An ode to love and vulnerability in every iteration, ‘Lighthouse’ comes after a string of EPs that Jana created when she felt her “brain kind of condensed into a ball of fire”. With a different outlook and a fistful of new, joyful experiences, ‘Lighthouse’ took shape as something warmer and more optimistic. We chatted with Jana about how the album expanded her musical horizons and pushed her sound to new heights.

Congratulations on the album. It marks quite a big change from the EPs, lyrically and tonally. Why so?

All the EPs are a lot darker, especially the last one. Everyone was kind of confined to their own space, so I was in my own head a lot – I didn’t see a lot of other people and I didn’t go outside a bunch, so my brain kind of condensed into a ball of fire. Then, we got to go on this amazing tour and we were driving around this huge country. I was meeting other people that also do music, then I was falling in love when we came back home. It was like there was a lot of light coming into my life, and that led to that change.


How was the shift from being more self-produced? You worked with Catherine Marks on this album, so how was that adjustment and do you think it pushed you in new directions?

It felt like Catherine was really open to everything. Because we had the chance to be in a proper studio setting, more frequencies become available to you. When we did the first EP, the drums were in a basement next to a laundry machine and we were recording it ourselves, and you can tell. It closes in the sound. When you can actually mic drums properly and set the mics up far into the room, there’s all this space to add more textures and layers on top. It was pushing myself to not only collaborate with people like Catherine, but to bring in more outside musicians. We had a cellist playing on the album, and we had someone else come in to do the bass as well. 

There is a lot of catharsis to these tracks – ‘Something’s Changed’ feels like a real release of emotion. Did you feel that when you were making them? 

I collaborate mainly with Chris [Hewett], I’ve worked with him throughout all the EPs. We always work in a jamming fashion. It’s always when there are songs that release something, those are the songs we gravitate towards the most. When we’re jamming and then there’s a spark of feeling, like you’re releasing something, it feels special.

Ending with ‘Give It Back To Me’ really makes the album feel like such a journey from where it begins. Was ending it on that note of comfort and love always something you wanted to do?

We sent the song to my manager and he was like ‘wow, that’s definitely the album closer’. It feels like such a big full stop in the way that it builds. Going through the journey of falling in love and heartbreak and uncovering all those things about yourself but staying open to vulnerability lets you give those things back to the other people around you. Even if romantic love doesn’t pan out how you were hoping, you’re still left with a lot of love to share with other people around you and they do the same with you. I felt like it’s the right kind of full stop. It’s such a celebration of love, and ‘Give It Back To Me’ is a way of celebrating all forms of love.

Was it important that this new sense of hopefulness you were feeling translated both lyrically and sonically?

After releasing a darker EP, it felt important for me to be leaning into a space of gratitude and wanting to be a better person for yourself and for the other people around you. It’s really exciting to get to play these songs and have that feeling – to get to share that with people is a really cool thing. I’m journaling every day, I’m working out semi-regularly and trying to take care of myself and my brain and my body in a healthy way and just hope that bleeds into all other aspects of my life.

Lighthouse’ by Francis of Delirium is out now.