New York-based singer-songwriter Emma Frank has released her new album Come Back. The “avante-garde folk artist” returns with the follow up to her critically acclaimed 2018 release Ocean Av and folk and jazz themes run throughout.
Come Back opens with I Thought which is a gentle introduction to Frank’s breathy, soft vocal. Frank’s vocal is effortless and complimented by the understated keys and harmonies. Lyrics such as “but I lay the first brick down in the wall between us, I kept the first secret” are raw and honest and lay the foundations for the themes of the rest of the album.
Either Way is beautifully stripped back, Frank’s vocal cutting sharply through the gentle keys. She opens up her heart to the listeners in this track, singing about lost love with moving lyrics such as “I will try and understand that everything has its plan, either way.”
Two Hours is wonderfully produced, combining the keys with a heavier beat, breath-taking violins and glorious harmonies. Another downtempo ode, this track again showcases Frank’s talent at capturing a feeling in a lyric with words such as “still the house is cold, inanimate, while you’re not in it.”
Sometimes allows Frank to play with her vocal and hit a range of notes with only the keys as an accompaniment. Promises runs in a similar vein with Frank testing her vocal range as she reminisces about the promises a past lover made about their future life together.
Dream Team is an angelic interlude where Frank expresses herself through harmonies alone and is seemingly at one with the piano.
See You bowls in with a deeper, funkier beat and a punchy opening line of “heartbroken again over something with no beginning and no end, oh I’ll see you when I see you, I hope this feeling passes by now.” There’s almost a jazz-like vibe to the track with the heavy base and free-spirited keys. The outro is a particular stand out as the beat drops off and the track descends into a breeze of beautiful harmonies.
Title track Come Back is stripped back and raw, just keys and a barely there backing vocal adding a layer of percussion
Before You Go Away opens with Frank’s vocal framed against a backdrop of acoustic guitar which is perfectly understated. As the track progresses a flurry of percussion sweeps up Frank’s vocal and she paints yet another emotional scene with lyrics such as “we don’t have too much time left, I just want your acceptance before you go away.”
Frank was born outside of Boston and moved to Montreal in 2006 to study literature at McGill University. It was while she was here that she began performing regularly and released two albums which went on to receive critical acclaim. She came to New York in 2015 to perform in the opera April and it was then that she decided to move to Brooklyn. It was here that she penned the songs on Ocean Av and Come Back.
Come Back is a beautifully-written collection of tracks that speak so honestly and frankly about past experiences of love and loss and Frank’s song-writing is sure to hit a chord with whoever is listening.
Come Back is out on September 6th. European tour dates including London will be coming soon.
Have a listen to the single I Thought below and find out more about Emma Frank here.