Exploring the depths with R.Y.F.

"In the last two years my life has been tough and has put a strain on me and my wife"
19 February 2024
Photo by Simona Diacci Trinity

A Conversation About ‘Deep Dark Blue’

Francesca Morello, the creative force behind R.Y.F., guides us on an emotive journey with her latest album, Deep Dark Blue. Set to release on April 5th, 2024, through Bronson Recordings, this album promises an immersive experience, akin to an odyssey beneath the waves, aimed at touching the very core of our emotions and experiences.

The album’s lead single, Blue, featuring the incredible Moor Mother, stands out as a mesmerizing confluence of pulsating rhythms and nocturnal vibes. Morello shares the song’s inception, rooted in the enchantment of Stromboli’s sea, which she describes as a call that drew her into its depths. This collaboration with Moor Mother, a meeting of minds and talents, results in a track that Morello finds utterly captivating, reflecting on their synergy with evident joy.

Morello reveals: “Blue comes directly from the sea of Stromboli, written after a catamaran trip. The song revolves around the daze of observing that intense blue, which called me and sucked me in, and the sensation I felt after diving in. I thought it was an exciting song to send to Moor Mother for a collaboration. Her lyrical contribution is perfect and the result literally drove me crazy: every time I listen to it I can’t help but smile

Deep Dark Blue emerges as a sanctuary of sound, with Morello describing it as a deep-sea dive into dark, muffled sonorities, reminiscent of being cocooned in a serene, yet energetically vibrant, blue bubble. The album, inspired by a transformative sea journey off Sicily’s Stromboli, stands as a narrative of suffering, healing, and the power of music to transcend and destabilize.

Photo by Simona Diacci Trinity

Morello opens up about the personal struggles faced during the past two years, particularly concerning her wife’s health issues, which deeply affected her. This period of introspection and turmoil is eloquently captured in Deep Dark Blue, making it not just a musical project but a therapeutic endeavor that embraces suffering with irony and joy.

The album features a rich tapestry of collaborations, including notable names like Moor Mother, Skin of Skunk Anansie, and Alos. These partnerships, deeply rooted in shared values of feminism, queerness, and political activism, contribute to the album’s diverse and resonant soundscape.

Reflecting on the evolution from her previous work, Everything Burns, to Deep Dark Blue, Morello sees this new release as a progression in her artistic journey. She aimed to create an album that was dark yet not depressing, slow yet danceable, a sonic reflection of her personal growth and the challenges overcome.

Looking ahead, Morello is eager to bring Deep Dark Blue to audiences around Europe and beyond through extensive touring, sharing this deeply personal yet universally relatable narrative.

In today’s eclectic musical landscape, Morello believes her music resonates with the queer community, those open to genre exploration, and anyone inspired by the vision of a more inclusive, revolutionary world.

It fits on a new imaginary and revolutionary world we can build together through ideas, freedom, love and acceptance, and culture for everybody

Photo by Simona Diacci Trinity

Your new album Deep Dark Blue is described as an ‘underwater’ and ‘deep-sea’ album. What inspired this concept, and how did it shape the overall sound and theme of the album?

In the last two years my life has been tough and has put a strain on me and my wife. To survive the suffering, I put myself in a dark bubble from where I could feel the world but in a detached and muffled way like I was underwater. So I started from that feeling and then, the experience of diving into the blue of Stromboli’s sea gave me the perfect shock to totally embrace the watery essence of how I would like the album to be.

I started with choosing sounds that made me feel like I was inside that bubble, words I wrote in my notebooks and unrolled new ones to fill this new world I was creating.

The single Blue, featuring Moor Mother, has a unique story, originating from your experience in the sea of Stromboli. Could you elaborate on how this experience influenced the song, and what it was like working with Moor Mother?

Stromboli’s sea enchanted me while I was on a boat trip. I felt it was calling me and its blue was something I had never seen before, so dark yet full of reflections at the same time as if it was a backlit screen. I dived into it, just swam a bit  and when I got back on the boat I felt  light, stoned and out of the bubble. 

Working with with Moor Mother was great. We met a couple of times sharing the stage in Italy, then our paths crossed again and we have been trying to do something together since then. I like everything she does. She’s a great artist, engaged in activism and one of the visionaries of the BQF.

When I asked her if she wanted to be featured on Blue, I described to her all my feelings about the song and sent it to her. She liked it and after a while she sent me her words back and I thought they were just perfect.

Photo by Simona Diacci Trinity

You’ve mentioned that Deep Dark Blue is an album of both suffering and healing, particularly reflecting on personal experiences. How have these emotions influenced your songwriting process for this album?

As I already mentioned, I tried to work with material I wrote during the last two years but I also tried not to be stuck in the suffering mode and react. Like a magic spell, I tried to turn something bad into music and joy that could heal me and whoever was listening.

The album features collaborations with artists like Moor Mother, Skin, and Alos. How did these artists contribute to the album’s diversity, and what was the collaborative process like?

All three of these artists have a lot in common as they’re all part of the queer community, they’re activists and fight the discrimination of minorities as I do myself. I have huge respect for them and their artistic production so, when I asked if they were up to collaborate and they said yes, for me it was already a big gift.

I kinda composed the tracks thinking of them even though I hadn’t asked them yet. Every one of them put exactly what I was wishing for and gave to the tracks the exact vibe I was looking for. 

Given that your previous work, Everything Burns, was released in 2021, what is the role of ‘Deep Dark Blue’ in your sound and artistic vision?

After Everything Burns my red album, I decided it was the time for a blue one, it started as a playful choice of colours but when I really started thinking of the new album, I felt a lot of pressure. I didn’t want it to be a clone of the last one but a sequel of my experience with electro music, with all that happened to me I wanted it to be dark but not depressive, I wanted it to be slow but danceable, suffered but joyful. 

So it has been a tough moment when I started working on it. The first song was December 25th which has been my “plunger” ballad, just the day before I was stuck and then, I let ideas and words flow, I let the beats and melodies obsess my nights. In a couple of months I had the pre-production of Deep Dark Blue on my laptop and I couldn’t wait to go to the studio and work with Icio (Maurizio Baggio).

Do you have any plans for live shows or tours to showcase this new album to your audience?

My plan is to tour more then ever. I really would like to tour a lot around Europe and everywhere the waves bring me. 

Where do you think your music fits in today’s world?

It fits in the queer community of course, in the ears of people who don’t care if a musician likes to explore different genres and atmospheres. It fits on a new imaginary and revolutionary world we can build together through ideas, freedom, love and acceptance, and culture for everybody.

If you were stranded on a desert island which three albums would you choose to wash up on the shore?

Three are very few! I can chose among the album I can listen millions of times without getting bored. PJ Harvey “To Bring You My Love”, Björk “Post”, Tool “Lateralus”.

How would you describe your perfect day?

There isn’t just a perfect day but different kinds of perfect days. It could be a day on tour, a day passed with people I love doing nothing in the countryside or under the sun on a beach, the most amazing adventure on a trip or a walk in the mountains. Nothing is perfect it us that make things perfect.

What would your fans say they appreciate the most about you?

I really would like them to say the love and passion I put in my music.