Emma Frank has a sound so multifaceted it intertwines folk, R&B, and even jazz to create shifting tempos and winding melodies that are poignant, propelling and all-engulfing. On her fourth album, Come Back, Emma taunts with ideas of love, lust, self-doubt, commitment and sadness to relinquish the most intimate corners of her mind with her listeners. Emma’s songs are journeys of self-discovery, framed by insightful lyrics and her warm, gossamer voice that songwriter Leif Vollebekk described as "like leather on silk."
Of the album’s lead single “I Thought,” Emma says, “My mother to this day reminds me that I have a tendency to polarize things. ‘I Thought’ is a reminder that we can grow and change and still be committed to those we love and the work we do.” The subdued strings and soft strokes of the piano keys enhance the raw, honest feeling driving this track.
The project takes a nostalgic turn with the next single, a cover of Grammy award winning band Wilco’s “Either Way,” expressing the simplicity and vulnerability of the lyrics that speak to Emma on a personal level. Next up, we have “Two Hours,” with the haunting hold of the lyrics: “Still two hours to go/until you come home,” speaking on the unproductivity of boredom and seeking an answer to the question “When does solitude become loneliness?”
“Dream Team” brings a new approach to the project, seeing Emma materialize a fondness of hers: lyric-less vocalizing. It was written by ex-boyfriend and creative partner Simon Millerd, who contributes on the trumpet for this ambient, soothing one and a half minute interlude.
Emma leaves us with a resounding conclusion, initially an ode to her father on “Before You Go Away.” Emma reached the actualization during a high energy, high intensity studio session that this song was in fact written to herself. The beautiful croons meet the guitar strings and deep bass to engage the sentimental and reflective essence of the song leaving a tremendous urge for more from the folk singer.
Born and raised outside of Boston, Emma moved to Montreal in 2006 to study literature at McGill University. Whilst there she began performing regularly, releasing two critically acclaimed albums under her own name on the Montreal-based label, The 270 Sessions and performing vocals and brass with art-pop ensembles She’s Got a Habit and Malcolm Sailor’s Songs. After coming to New York in August of 2015 to perform in Franky Rousseau and Dominic Mekky’s chamber opera April, Emma decided to move to Brooklyn. It’s there that she penned the songs on her acclaimed third album, Ocean Av, and the upcoming Come Back.
Emma Frank has performed at Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, NXNE, Pop Montreal, the Toronto Jazz Festival, Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival, and performs regularly in New York City.
Come Back will be released on September 6, 2019 via Justin Time/Nettwerk. It features musicians Aaron Parks, Franky Rousseau, Tommy Crane and Zack Lober.