Street Date: September 6, 2019
Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Emma Frank returns with her new album entitled Come Back. On her debut for Justin Time, Frank intertwines folk, jazz and even r&b to create shifting tempos and winding melodies that are poignant, propelling and all-engulfing. The first single, “I Thought”, was released in April. The stunning video directed by visual artist Ayo Tsalithaba, can be viewed here. Frank’s gorgeously sparse cover of Wilco’s “Either Way” is the second single and can be heard here.
Come Back is Frank’s second collaboration with pianist Aaron Parks and serves as a follow up to last year’s critically acclaimed release Ocean Av (Susan Records). While Ocean Av, which was referred to as a “minor masterpiece” by Pop Matters’ Will Layman, featured a larger ensemble with diverse instrumentation, Come Back is decidedly more pared down with a focus on the interplay between Frank and Parks. Supporting the duo is bassist Zack Lober and drummer Tommy Crane and producer and guitarist Franky Rousseau.
Throughout Come Back, Emma explores ideas of love, lust, self-doubt, commitment and sadness to uncover 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." In addition to her Wilco cover, Frank presents seven gorgeous original songs and a stunning version with original lyrics of Parks’ composition “Lilac” (which first appeared on his latest album Little Big) renamed “Come Back” on this outing.
Emma Frank has been stunning listeners since her 2014 debut For Being Apart. In the past five years, she has garnered positive attention from the likes of Clash, Downbeat Magazine, the CBC, The Ottawa Citizen, WBGO’s The Checkout, Atwood, La Presse and Pop Matters, among others. Her genre-bending music has brought her to stages across the world including the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival, and most recently, a European tour that brought her to world-renowned venues in Paris, Vienna, Zurich and others. With the release of Come Back, Emma Frank is undoubtedly poised to capture the ears and hearts of more listeners across the globe.
Says Frank: “I hope that listening to this album makes people feel seen in all of their complexity and beauty. Life is tough. Music is soothing. In a sense, it’s that easy. I want this album to be a safe space for someone, or one space that they can go to feel their feelings and enjoy being alive.”
For Come Back
"The slightly tart tunes are complemented by literate lyrics that, nevertheless, cut to the center of the heart, addressing romance as poetry and yearning." Read the full review here.
“Frank clearly has mastered the ballad, burnishing her lyrics with touches of literary panache. Balance this propensity with a few uptempo tracks and she’ll continue her climb to the top, no matter the genre." Read the full review here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Come Back borrows as much from folk and RnB as it does from jazz but, most of all, demonstrates a singer and composer who is able to cut back on all of the redundancies and reduce things to their essence. One is bound to come back to this album in the near future." Read the full review here.
“She holds her lyrics for long tonal effects, creating a web of colors on “Two Hours” and the ethereal “Dream Team." Read the full review here.
“Finally, here is an original vision, a step forward for the creative world music.“ Read the full review here.
"Parks and Frank have a wondrous thing going, seeming like Joni Mitchell and Wayne Shorter, perhaps. These two voices are simply meant for each other, one from jazz and another from a land of literate folk-pop that turns out to have a quirky connection to harmonically daring arrangements. Frank is the icy cool heart, beating and quivering inside Parks's natural, rolling, warm piano style. Come Back is, hopefully, only the second chapter in a pairing that makes a plainspoken kind of magic." Feature here.
“Love, desire, loss, commitment, doubt ... these primary colors of the soul are evoked through these eight original songs”. Read the full review here.
"Stream Emma Frank’s sublime and poignant new single “Come Back”, the aforementioned cover of Aaron Park’s “Lilac” here."
"Drawing inspiration from artists such as Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones and Wilco, Emma Frank’s music is both evocative and healing, incorporating a unique blend of folk and pop with strong roots in jazz." Read the full feature piece here.
DEE DEE MCNEIL
"Emma Frank’s voice is captivating and her songwriting, both melodies and lyrics, are artistic and charming." Read the full review here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Well-Rounded and Quite Frank." Read full feature piece & interview here.
THE WHOLE NOTE
"This fourth release by the stunning and golden-voiced vocalist is an incredibly pleasing journey through genres that leaves something new to discover around every corner." Read the full review here.
For Ocean Av
"The best performances of the evening involved just Emma and Aaron as the Rockwood Steinway invited us in and Emma’s airy vocals filled up the rest." Read the full concert review here.
"With Ocean Av, Frank negotiates darkness and light, folk directness and jazz complication, depression and hope, chill sonority and grooves that are remarkably crisp and propulsive." Read the full track premiere and interview here.
DEE DEE MCNEIL
MUSICAL MEMOIRS BLOG
"If you are looking for something uniquely different, you will find it in the music of Emma Frank." Read the full feature here.
"Now, the music that Frank makes is vivid yet intimate, leaning heavily into folk and roots music — a Canadian listener might hear echoes of Sarah McLachlan, Joni Mitchell or Margo Timmins in Frank’s songs and singing." Read the full feature here.
"Vocalist Emma Frank brings genuine peacefulness and transparent honesty to everything she touches." Read the full video premiere for "Best Friend" here.
"The Brooklyn-based Franks, 30, was a sylph-like performer who invited listeners in with poetic, revelatory lyrics and songs that soothed despite their unexpected contours." Read the full review here.
THE ARTS FUSE
"The album is all originals — so no standards with which to conduct a proper jazz-police investigation. But the poetry of the lyrics is smart, and so are the singing, the voice, and the adventurous musicality." Read the full feature here.
"Emma Frank, who reaches a sublime new plane of musicality on her excellent third album is an artist worthy of observation with serious ears." Read the full 4-star review here.
"Typical of this indie generation / cyberfolk at the crossroads of jazz, Ocean Av will appeal to anyone seeking the highest forms of songwriting." Read the full French review here.
BOSTON CONCERT REVIEWS
"This is a dreamscape of beauty and the recording is superb in capturing all of the shifting tones and colors of this lithe, swaying and penetrating music." Read the full review here.
"There's a film waiting somewhere for this intimately atmospheric jazz-folk Brooklyn-based Canadian singer-songwriter who impressively inhabits her songs, with a fine supportove cast including Aaron Parks and Jim Black." Read the 4-star review here.