BY: JOANA MEURKENS
Francisco Haye, or better known as Cisco Swank has welcomed his first album “Pursuit Of” into this ever changing music scene. Cisco is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, rapper, and producer born and raised in Brooklyn. Cisco’s work is unique in his ability to present beautifully personal lyrics, incredible instrumentals, as well as deliver soothing vocals. All of these traits have earned him rightful comparisons to other genre-bending industry giants such as Anderson .Paak and Stevie Wonder.
After releasing a series of singles spanning over the past few years, the Brooklyn native has given the people what they want and deserve, a full length album. In a time where the world seems uncertain, “Pursuit Of” offers comfort as Cisco invites the listener into an intimate view of his mind. The album is a collaboration between Cisco and Portland’s own Tobias Kelly. Kelly and Swank met at Berklee (where Cisco is now entering his junior year) and the two embarked on a friendship that led to the creation of this 16 minute masterpiece.
The album starts out with “Burbank” which was released as a single in February. The song introduces the idea of longing and searching for something that feels urgent but unattainable, a theme that plays through the entire album. The next track “What Was” offers a more soulful look into Swank’s mind. You can see the influence of growing up in the church, Swank’s relationship to faith, and how it has shaped who he is as a young adult. The lyric, “I used to feel lost ‘till I found God” rings with the listener as it is supported by his sweet harmonies which are very much a reflection of the kindness and love that he radiates as a person.
“Pursuit Of” also reflects on the current turmoil that our nation faces with references to the unfortunate new normal of mask wearing and looming fears of our uncertain future, but still, Cisco offers a positive and hopeful outlook that leaves you unafraid of the next chapter and hungry for more of his music. The latter half of the album takes a turn into the jazz world with a killer saxophone feature by Morgan Guerin in Internal / External. The album moves through soulful music into beats that you will no doubt want to groove to, all while delivering lyrics that bring you into the blooming inner life of Cisco Swank. Not only has the duo shown the world their musical brilliance with this project, but Tobias Kelly’s impeccable production quality reflects the industry’s move towards young independent artists who can execute their sound without the need of a record label calling all the shots. Although this album offers an intimate view into Cisco’s artistry and mind, he speaks to the universal longing that his generation feels, which is one of the reasons why he is no doubt the voice of a generation.