There’s something democratizing about being a singer-songwriter. It’s a style of music that is open to just about anybody, so long as they have a guitar, a voice and something to say. The other side of the coin: it takes a lot more for a musician to stand out of the pack when so many others are participating.
Elizabethtown, Pa. native Katie Frank first caught our attention with a simple and somewhat mysterious video shot in black and white on a South Philly stoop for Bands in the Backyard. She came across as your typical sensitive singer with lovely, striking voice. Turns out we were seeing just one side of her.
The Covered Bridge Road EP showcased the twangy country vision Frank had for her music, and introduced us to her collaborators – who would later become known as The Pheromones. It was beautifully arranged and poppy sounding, but wait. When the band recorded its Key Studio Session, we saw a much more butt-kicking side, some rumbling rock and roll to mix with Frank’s lyrics about heartache and self-doubt. It’s kind of like she sings: “Maybe you knew me once, but you don’t know everything.”
Tonight we bring you “Tunnel Vision,” the first single from Katie Frank and The Pheromones’ debut LP Counting Your Curses, and in it we see the total of everything we just talked about. Frank is quiet and pensive on the jangling verse while rootsy guitar leads ebb and flow. And then, as the chorus kicks in, she’s spitfire, angry and belting out “We’re running but we’re doing the best we can” over rumbling amplifiers.
Katie Frank doesn’t fit easily into the singer-songwriter stereotype, and that’s exactly what makes her a singer-songwriter to watch. She’ll sadly sing you her secrets, and then she’ll scream in your face if you dare do her wrong. She’s introspective, but she’s aggressive; she isn’t embarrassed to open up and be earnest, but she won’t take any guff.
Counting Your Curses is out in February, and we’re pretty excited to hear the whole thing. Get your pre-order here and listen to “Tunnel Vision” below and get information on Katie Frank and The Pheromones’ album release show at MilkBoy on Friday, February 21st at the XPN Concert Calendar.