Francesca recalls her Mediterranean childhood as one of bare feet on terra cotta tiles, fuchsia sunsets, fresh mistral breezes, the aroma of lavender and evening cricket choirs. La vie douce (“the sweet life”) aptly describes the rhythm and rhyme of those early years, where extended sojourns to a family cabin in the Alps further nourished a love of wild, open spaces and the solitary peace of simple living in the heart of a family that was anything but conventional.
Born of two cultures, Francesca not only brings her two languages to her songs, but a deep sensitivity for the universal qualities of music. Whether or not you understand the language in which she sings, there is something else being communicated, something only the language of music can convey. Raised by the voices of Tracy Chapman, Eva Cassidy, Françoise Hardy and Nora Jones (among others), Francesca has always felt a strong connection to deeply intimate female vocals, ("the ones that speak for themselves", as Blanchard puts it). Notable performances include opening for Suzanne Vega and Joan Armatrading, along with performing at Les FrancoFolies de Montréal in 2013.
Following her 2011 six-track EP, Blanchard released an extended EP in 2014 with three additional demo tracks. She recorded her first full-length album of original songs (six in English, six in French) in the summer of 2014 after raising over $25,000 on Indiegogo.
Pouring her heart into delicate melodies written for the acoustic guitar, Blanchard’s debut album deux visions was released on October 2, 2015. It was produced by Chris Velan (Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars), mixed by acclaimed Montreal producer Jean Massicotte (Lhasa, Patrick Watson, Arthur H, Jorane) and mastered at the prestigious Metropolis Studios in London. The album reflects Francesca’s travels, both physical and emotional, with influences ranging from Norah Jones and Carla Bruni to Eva Cassidy and Françoise Hardy.
“Deux Visions shines on the strength of Blanchard’s accomplished compositions, tasteful guitar work and gorgeous vocals. A seamless mix of folk, jazz and roots-rock with some French chanson thrown in for good measure. The most ambitious and impressive debut album to come out of Vermont since Grace Potter.” - The Times Argus
"Colored by her love of folk, rock, jazz, French chanson, soul, world music and pop, Ms. Blanchard takes Deux Visions beyond the standard spare singer-songwriter route by encompassing one genre into another and folding one influence into another.” - World Music Central
“One of the year’s best new world music albums. An impressive first effort from the talented, young artist.” - Phil's Picks
"Francoise Hardy meets Nico and does in a few in English anyway? This gal might seem moody, but there’s nothing about her that screams art chick. Blanchard has the chops to be a wily entertainer to take you places you haven’t imagined and you’ll get there on her own particular magic carpet ride. Certainly a left leaning, modern pop date, this is no yeah yeah girl looking for fling. Deep music fans will appreciate someone is still out there that wants to fan their flames with high octane, high quality stuff that’s delightfully out of the ordinary. Well done throughout.” - Midwest Record Review
"The juxtaposition of bits of rural slide guitar twang and the romantic cadences of Blanchard’s French lyricism make for a steadying folk tune for a chilly, early fall morning.” - CMJ
"Francesca so easily writes songs that tug at your heartstrings that you'd swear she was in love with you. Deux Visions succeeds because even at it's most quiet, minimalistic point it still has your emotions in a bear hug and won't let them go. This is an album that’s drenched in tears, an album that finds love in a thunderstorm, and leaves its lover at the airport gate” - The POP Stereo Review
"On one hand you have the traditional singer songwriter with strummy guitars, lilting vocals, and a bit of heartbreak. On the other hand you have a French chanson artist who is intimate, beautiful, and lovelorn. When you take these two elements and mix them into one record you have an album that's filled with fragile beauty with a striking accent.” - The POP Stereo Review
"With a coffee shop-like intimacy Blanchard pours a linguistically alternating twelve song cup of poetry that ripples with subtle dynamic on a glass sea of acoustic emotion. Where captivating meets a soundtrack for life’s reflective moments is where you’ll find deux visions. This is one record that absolutely soars.” - Nanobot Rock Review
“Blanchard’s debut EP, Songs on an Ovation, is quietly
and profoundly stunning. It is a humble ode to love, heartbreak and home that says more about all three topics in the span of 17 minutes than some songwriters do over entire careers. A remarkable debut.”
- Dan Bolles of Seven Days
"Her voice is special. There is a lot of warmth and maturity, and she writes really catchy songs that are just warm and lovely. It's music that you have to relax and allow to sink in to you. And if you do allow yourself to absorb it, it's magical" - Jacob Edgar of Cumbancha
"Francesca's is a very special talent. and I firmly believe she is in the early stages of a career that will earn her international celebrity - she's just that good. Her original songs in both French and English are artfully crafted, often-times deeply personal, and her singing voice is beautiful"
- Joel Najman of Vermont Public Radio