Under Review

Under Review: Snəqsilxʷ (Family), Francis Baptiste

Jennah Lay

Francis Baptiste (he/him) is an Indigenous singer-songwriter from the Osoyoos Indian Band, currently based in Vancouver, B.C. His album Snəqsilxʷ (Family) explores ideas surrounding relationships, self-love, and emotional pain. Baptiste moves through these topics authentically while he expresses his anxiety and painful emotions with impact. 

The album’s second track, “Reasons I Can’t Say,” explores Baptiste’s impressive vocal range as he sings with heart and deep emotional capacity. With lyrics like “she has me on a string / kept for safekeeping / for reasons I can’t speak aloud,” it’s filled with phrases that are hard to ignore — it makes you step back and really feel the meaning of the words. 

One of my favourite lyrics is “Way back when / the sweet smell of fall” found in the third track, “Rivers End.” It captures what’s missing and the pain of “what could have been.” A new direction is what is needed, a change — something that will bring joy. 

I can’t say enough about “River’s End.” Its profound lyricism combined with a twist on rock has embedded hope. Baptists honestly expresses his work — he shows us a strong, vulnerable, perseverance that is his own. The lyric “when it hurts / I close my eyes / I feel it all” really caught my attention and really hit home. When the pain is too much, the escape is to close the windows to the soul. His emotional range in this album is powerful, not only through his lyrics but also through his raw talent.  

Each song not only flowed nicely from each other, but also offered a perspective which may not have been considered before. This is the first time I have listened to Baptiste’s work, and it was a joy to experience. 

He captures many different emotions in a very authentic and special way. I thoroughly enjoyed Snəqsilxʷ (Family) and I look forward to listening to more of his work soon.