Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Emma Frank has released her new album Interiors via Justin Time and Nettwerk Music Group. The nine-song effort sees Frank make a departure from her previous, more jazz-adjacent albums with a lean into her pop sensibilities with nods to 70s singer-songwriters like Judee Sill. Originally written during pandemic lockdowns, Interiors draws listeners in with intimate arrangements and warm vocals.
“With this album, and the things surrounding it – my space, my life, the artwork, the videos – I tried to make an immersive creative experience for myself. Writing happens in my space and I’m very sensitive to how my space feels and arranging my space feels like a musical act, one that is happening in conversation with my songwriting. During lockdown I had all this time on my hands and I gave myself the freedom to play. All of the vocals on this record were recorded at my house. A lot of the songs talk about doing chores and decorating, tending to the home, and all of the artwork for the singles are things I made for fun. I don’t necessarily love them, but that’s ok. It was more about giving myself permission to be my imperfect self and still create. The album cover is a photo of our dining table in the early morning. I’ve rearranged the room since then and I’m writing new songs but I think there is more of my whole self in this album than anything I’ve made before. That’s really the best I could hope for – to be fully engaged in making the thing and to document the self in this weird, sacred way.”
Listen to “Interiors” here: https://emmafrank.ffm.to/interiors
Originally from Boston, Emma Frank lived in Montreal for nine years of her adult life before moving to New York City. On her last two records, Ocean Av, and Come Back, Frank collaborated with critically acclaimed pianist and composer Aaron Parks and producer Franky Rousseau. The albums explored Frank’s jazz-adjacent folk songs, with a light-footed vocal approach complimenting the momentum of Park’s accompaniment.
On Interiors, the approach is significantly poppier, with Frank finding a new groundedness in her approach to creation. The music feels firmly rooted in Americana, with the opening track, “Keep Moving”, recalling some of the soulfulness of Bonnie Raitt. Other songs, like “Bad TV” and “Current”, feel almost anthemic, leaning into rockier and electro influences like St. Vincent and Hiatus Kaiyote. “Seeing Clear” is a quieter moment and evokes the winding-narrative folk of Laura Marling. The one cover on the record, “Lopin’ Along Through the Cosmos,” pays homage to 70s songwriting icon Judee Sill, and is one of the most profound moments on the record, sung as a duet with Thom Gill, who also plays guitar on the rest of the record. That 70s spirit bleeds in throughout, lending a dream-like, almost psychedelic sensibility to an otherwise minimalist approach. Producers and longtime friends, guitarist Franky Rousseau ( Chris Thile, Philip Glass, Jon Batiste, Phoebe Bridgers) and pianist Dominic Mekky (Caroline Shaw, Gabriel Kahane, Phoebe Bridgers, Sara Bareilles, Kaia Kater, David Longstreth) bring out so much magic in these songs, heightening the emotion of each one with intricate arrangements and lush sound design. Rounding out the players are Pedro Barquinha on drums, Matt Rousseau on bass Steve Raegele on guitar and saxophonist Charlotte Greve sits in on two tracks.
Check out “Interiors” on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/@emmafrank29/videos
Interiors is an album about finding meaning in the mundane, in one’s home, and in oneself. Written primarily during lockdown, the songs document the boredom, compulsions, and joy of being home all the time: decorating, cleaning, napping, songwriting, and going mad. At once a celebration of creativity and play, Interiors invites the listener into Frank’s home and mind. Emma’s approach to songwriting is disarming in its simplicity and rawness. “Give me something that needs me, something I cannot ignore / maybe a dog or a baby, or a career or a lover,” sings Frank in “Dog or Baby” a bouncy track about a particular sort of mid-thirties yearning.