Sarah Frank: the lady just loves to sing
Gold Coast musician and talented vocalist Sarah Frank loves to sing. And there’s no mistaking it in the soulful sounds that come from her new album The Frenzy. Blank’s editor Samantha Morris was hooked from the very first listen. She made it her mission to catch up with Sarah to get the low-down on her work.
As well as being a talented solo artist, Sarah Frank finds herself as front woman for local blues-soul-funksters Tuesday’s Good as well as the rock-soul outfit Sarah Frank and the Quick Millions. And as you delve into Sarah’s work, it’s impossible to miss the many collaborations with other GC artists.
Sarah has been living on the coast since a young age and says that singing was all she ever wanted to do. “I lost confidence with it when I was sixteen and didn’t sing again until I was 21.”
“My dad bought be a guitar and my best mate Jim (who you see playing guitar with me at my shows) encouraged me to push on. Four years later I’m finally at the place where I understand that there’s no alternative for me. Singing is the only true freedom that I’ve ever known.”
Sarah says her writing style is all-consuming. “I just go into my bubble and emerge either refreshed or totally exhausted, depending on what I’m writing about.”
It’s hard enough being a musician finding their feet, but working in a genre like soul has unique challenges. Sarah says it’s always interesting to see how people react to soul music.
“Soul is a direct offshoot off blues music, and blues is the core of it all. It’s about feel –something we can all relate to. So I guess the main challenge is, on the Gold Coast, that there are quite a number of people more interested in what looks good, rather than what feels good. But then you’ve got these incredibly supportive locals who connect and engage, and the challenge of connection with that other audience doesn’t seem to matter at all. I always think going into a gig; if I connect with just one person, if just one person comes up to talk to me after, then I’m going to be so happy.”
When asked about the Gold Coast music scene, Sarah believes we could be doing a lot more.
“The Internet has forced us to redefine community, and I don’t think it’s been an entirely positive thing. There are places on the coast, particularly south, where you can feel the vibe change, but I would encourage a widespread negotiation with ourselves about how we want to live,” she says.
“There’s great music happening, better music, in my opinion, than what’s happening in the charts. And that’s because these people aren’t products, we are simply pouring everything we have into making a living doing the thing we love most. And that, I’ve found, is the key to being happy – regardless of how challenging it may sometimes be.”
“I feel that we are ready for a cultural change. “Music is the panacea,” she says. “It’s the best tool that we have to remedy the lack of connection we feel sometimes. And we’ve got some outrageous talent (on the Gold Coast).”
Frank was also quick to praise those driving the local music scene and reels off a long list of local supporters. “The Loft Chevron Island are all about the local talent,” she says. “The Cave in Nobby’s, The Bluff Café Burleigh (they hosted my album launch), Genki Café in Palm Beach, The Village Markets, all the locals that have bought my album and kept petrol in my van so I can do what I love, and Blank GC for taking the time to speak with me.”
Sarah’s new album The Frenzy takes the listener through three distinct movements. The first has a full band feel with a distinct blues-soul sound. And No-one’s to blame brings the reggae vibe that sits so well with Gold Coasters. The second movement is sexy neo-soul. Sarah collaborated with local GC artists to create expressive jam-based music for these tracks. The third and final movement closes the album with an acoustic live track featuring GC hip hop artist Lane-Harry.
The Frenzy takes you to Sarah’s heart and head as she responds and adapts to the physical and spiritual world she inhabits. Her personal experiences and beliefs are laid bare in the most comfortable communication method that she has available. Title track The Frenzy refers to the ultimate release from societal weights when the body, mind and spirit are climaxing an excited calm.
Sarah Frank’s debut album is available now at sarahfranksoul.com.