Introducing Katie Frank… Debut EP “Small Town Minds” Out now

Born and raised in small town Pennsylvania, Katie Frank moved to Nashville in 2019 to pursue music full-time, quitting her job as a recreational therapist in a nursing home. She had grown up in a family full of musicians, and taught herself to play the piano by ear at the age of 10, and as much as she loved her job she knew that something was missing. Her debut EP, “Small Town Minds” was released on 8th October , the title track inspired by the close-minded reactions from people in her hometown after the BLM protests and calling out people who feel threatened by change.

Her writing is a mix of both personal and political experiences and observations, with sharp lyrics a stand out feature throughout the 7 tracks which musically draw on an array of influences.

It was great to chat to Katie and find out a bit more about this exciting new artist.

1. LH Thanks so much for your time today, Katie! Where are you right now, can you set the scene?
KF I am in my house, in my little music writing room ..we live in Madison, it’s still considered Nashville but it’s technically a couple of minutes outside I guess. I’ve got my guitars and my keyboard here, it’s my little office!

2. LH It’s only been a couple of weeks since the release of your EP “Small Town Minds” and its already been added to several prestigious playlists, you must be really happy about the reaction it’s received?
KF I definitely am! Playlisting is definitely a big thing now , it wasn’t before when I released music, I’m very happy!

3 LH Are there any particular tracks which seem to be resonating/connecting with people?
KF I think ” Dark Cloud” has seemed to get a pretty good reaction, which surprised me a bit… tho’ it ended up being one of my favourites the way it turned out as it’s got such a Western feel. And “Hey Dale” .

4. LH I understand its release show at Dee’s was your first full band show in music city… that must have been so exciting but also possibly a little scary for you all?
KF It was fun! It was my first full band show as I moved here just before covid and didn’t really have time to form a band or meet that many people as everything shut down 6 months after we moved here! But the show was great, I hope to be back at Dee’s soon!

5. LH Actually I was going to ask about your band, how long have you been playing together and are they from back home or did you form since your relocation to Nashville so that kind of answered that!
KF Yeah everyone is from Nashville. Actually Bobby Holland, who produced the album, said “I’ll play with you!” so he’s on lead guitar and it’s great ‘cos he knew the harmony parts! And there’s a friend of mine, Dennis who’s also a great songwriter… and my husband plays drums!

6. LH Did they play on the EP?
KF John played the drums and Bobby played a lot of the guitar parts ….the others were not on it, we had studio musicians.
LH There’s certainly no shortage of them I’m sure!
KF It’s crazy, it was the first time I learned how recording works in Nashville and I was like ” Woah!!” It was so good, so tight!

7. LH Several of the songs draw on you personal experiences growing up in small town Pennsylvania….indeed small town living seems to have inspired some of my favourite artists over the years. Why do you think it fires creativity in so many songwriters?
KF Well, I think a lot of my creativity stemmed from having a lot of musicians in my family. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, I didn’t have any neighbours to play with so I had to be pretty creative in entertaining myself! And what inspired ” Small Town Minds” was the political climate of last year and the Black Lives Matter protests, and with everyone having social media I was seeing people from my small town reacting to it and not understanding why it was happening but being very closed minded about it. It would get me fired up!

8. LH Yes, in general you are very candid with your lyrics….do you find songwriting therapeutic, a way to vent your feelings and frustrations at either the state of the world or your personal circumstances?
KF Definitely! It was definitely an outlet last year with all that going on. I would make the mistake of going on social media and trying to argue with people! And ” Politician” was a metaphor about a co-worker ..another scenario I was frustrated with that I turned into a song!
LH That’s one of my favourites on the album, I think it’s so clever!

9. LH Do you have a typical songwriting process….starting with maybe a lyric or a melody…or is each song different? 
KF Most of the time I have a rough idea of what I want to write about and let it evolve. Occasionally I’ll be playing around and find a chord progression, but generally it’s the idea first. 
10. LH Do you do much co-writing? 
KF Generally I solo write. But co-writing can be really helpful, I’m generally not someone who goes to a co-write and can come up with something on the spot but there’s a few people I know and can trust and we can bring songs to each other and say ” can you help me with this, I’m stuck” …in that way it’s really helpful. 
LH Those reservations aside, is there anyone you dream of co-writing with? 
KF Lots! It’s hard to pinpoint just one, there’s so many great writers out there… but to get to work with Natalie Hemby, Brandi Carlile, that camp would be awesome! 
 
11. LH I love the really entertaining videos you’ve come up with. How involved are you in that side of the creative process and is it a part you are enjoying?

KF Yes definitely! If I had a lot more money I’d make videos for everything! When it came to ” Politician” I assumed everyone would think is was about a politician, so I wanted the video to tell the actual story. The was fun, my friend and I did that pretty DIY . And ”  Hey Dale”  was a whole vision I had…it had to be bright colours, and I love how that came together. 

12. LH And what do you have planned for the rest of 2021 and going forwards into 2022? Touring the EP maybe now that things are opening up again?
KF So,  I’m working on getting at least some local shows together and definitely getting back to Philadelphia for a show… hopefully a mini tour some time next year. And trying to continue to write. 
LH Any bucket list venue to play in the future? 
KF Oh man, that’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought to. I’d love to play Red Rocks sometime but as long as it’s a venue that holds people and they come to my show I’m happy! 
LH And maybe make your way over to the UK at some point? 
KF I would LOVE to! 
LH We listen very intently over here, and as your lyrics are so important and I think some of our smaller listening room venues would be ideal for you. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to see you sometime! 
Thank you so much for chatting to me today! 
KF Thank you Lesley! 
 
More artist information and links to Katie’s socials can be found at katiefrankmusic.com and “Small Town Minds” is available via all the usual listening platforms 
Interview conducted by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)
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