New York based singer/songwriter, Emma Frank, is back with fresh new single ‘I Thought’, as well as having a brand new album on the way.
I spoke with Emma to find out more…
So you’ve just released single ‘I Thought’, can you tell us a little bit about that track?
I essentially wrote this song after some conflict came up in my relationship with my husband – I noticed how quickly I started to plans in my head – I’m a real worst-case scenario kind of planner and I’ve tended to anticipate negative outcomes as a way of protecting myself. I’ve gotten into this habit in so many areas of my life – with work, with music, in my relationships with friends and family. So this song was just examining that tendency and reminding myself to hold steady – we are always changing and morphing, and new possibilities are always opening up that we couldn’t have seen.
And you have a music video for that track too which is stunning. What was it like working with Ayo Tsalithaba and creating that?
I first learned of Ayo’s work from my friends in the band Bernice. They filmed a funny, whimsical, video for their single “Passenger Plane” at a llama farm outside of Toronto. It’s so silly and beautiful and Ayo has such a musical sense of visual pacing.
With ‘I Thought,’ I knew that I was interested in working with water, both because of it’s symbolic significance and because of the kind of under-water sonic world that the track brings to mind for me. We were also interested in playing around with visual ideas of construction and deconstruction.
I think Ayo and I both identify with a kind of anxious approach to things – this feeling of trying to control something mercurial (like ourselves or our whims), and also this feeling of the grass being greener wherever we are not. We just started playing with what we had in this studio space where we were filming. Finding images that made sense symbolically was super intuitive for us.
You’ve also just released another single, a cover of Wilco’s ‘Either Way’. Why did you choose to cover this specific song?
I don’t perform a lot of covers – it’s rare that I come across a song that I identify with, whose lyrics are broad enough that I can convincingly occupy them. Either Way just makes so much sense to me -this feeling of loving resignation, of powerlessness and dedication. Dealing with depression in my long term relationships, and sometimes asking for a lot of patience and support from my partner, I identify with these lyrics so much.
Your album ‘Come Back’ is out September 6th – I’m assuming both of these tracks can be found on there?
Yes, they are the first two tracks on the record.
What should we expect from the album? What are its running themes?
I hope people find the record soothing to listen to. I think I strive to make companionship music, music that enters seamlessly into your inner world and makes thinking your own thoughts and feeling your own feelings nicer. I want it to feel spacious. There’s inevitably a lot of me in there, but when I write, I try to see the bigger picture in my personal life, to try and find what is more universal. This album deals a lot with themes of commitment, and learning to stay put and see things through. But I also hope that the lyrics are open ended enough that the listener can see themselves reflected wherever they at.
How does living in New York affect the music you create?
I think New York really draws out peoples true natures. Everything about my personality feels very heightened here – the contrast of being very social, very performative, but then this great need for solitude and quiet. So, even though I live in this vibrant city, I also feel like I’m always actively seeking quiet space. I spend a lot of time in Prospect Park. I used to wonder why I was no good at making fun music. And then I just stopped worrying about that. There are so many people here just doing themselves to the maximum, and it becomes more and more clear that that is the only option – I can only be me, you can only be you.
Will there be any UK tour dates at all in the near future?
Yes! I’ll be performing in London at Kansas Smitty’s on September 15th and again on September 16th – a hush hush show with The Society of the Golden Slipper.
Emma Frank’s single ‘I Thought,’ and ‘Either Way’ are out now. The new album, ‘Come Back’ is out September 6th.