Francis Baptiste
Songwriter and Music Journalist

Gal Gracen – Fantasy Gardens

Written Friday, October 25

As a grow older, I find myself appreciating instrumental music more. The idea of conveying emotion and mood without having to literally state it verbally appeals to me. There are a number of instrumental tracks on Fantasy Gardens. I found myself gravitating toward these tracks a little more with each repeat listen, especially the final track Orffesque Redux. The title is a nod to German composer Carl Orff. The track is a serene, calming reverie of bird sounds and what sounds like synth bells and maybe some sort of synthesized plucked instrument. It’s so peaceful and introspective.

Another great instrumental track is Winds of Solace, Pillars of Sand. It’s a five-minute clarinet solo on top of some very dreamy loops. It’s like meditation music or thinking music. It makes me want to sit and reflect on life, something I wish a had a bit more time to do.

The other eight songs on the album are great too. The opening track Arcadia is fantastical in its instrumentation and tone. It’s got this chill, bohemian vibe. I don’t really know what to compare it to because it’s not really like anything else I’m listening to. I guess that’s part of what makes it so special.

As is the case with everything that appears on this site, I highly recommend it.

Listen here:



My name is Francis Baptiste. I'm an Indigenous singer/songwriter in Vancouver, BC, an avid supporter of the Vancouver music scene, a contributing writer to Citrus Magazine, Permanent Rain Press, Music Existence, City Soundcheck, and the leader of the band Bird Parade. I'm also a recovering alcoholic and a divorced single father. Music and writing help me combat depression and relapse. For me, creativity, productivity, and community are essential to healing. There's so much incredible music in this city. You can learn more about the music I make on this page. I think it's good to be open about what you're dealing with, so below are some funny pictures of me from the last time I relapsed. It's important to find humour in dark times.

Franci Baptiste feeling rough Francis Baptiste binge drinking Francis Baptiste at his worst

Back Home