REVIEW // ELLA FRANK - SORROWS INTO SILK

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UK songstress Ella Frank’s silky and sultry sound is distinct and immersive. She was recently featured on Spotify's Sweet Soul Sunday and Soul 'n' the City playlists and we are HERE FOR IT.

Today marks the release of her debut EP Sorrows in Silk and we were luckily enough to have an exclusive first listen. Ella’s vocal and artistic home is Jazz but Soul, World Music and Funk have made their mark on her unique tone. Her frequent collaborators are back with production by Intalekt, R-Kay and Lester Duval.

Sorrows in Silk describes a journey a self-discovery by way of self-loathing, self-love and self-care. As avid music lover, I appreciate nothing more than being greeted at the proverbial door of an EP by the funkiest bass/saxophone/trumpet/guitar combination– Queue the first track Lime in which Ella sings:

I’m scared of loving you / I’m scared of giving too much of myself to you/ aren’t you scared of loving me too?

The rest of the SH girls can verifY that I was actually obsessed with SZA’s debut album Ctrl because her openness about being a 20something black woman trying navigate life, relationships and self-image was something I’d never heard in music and related to so much! In a similar fashion, Ella’s honest and open approach to songwriting kept me listening; it’s safe to say that the play button on my Soundcloud app is basically broken from all the replays.

As I needed to hear more, Lime phased out and Kettle phased in providing the sweet bop which made its debut on Reprezent Radio’s Soul Surge back in April.

The EP also includes Luna, a collaboration with soultress and SH favourite E^RTH.  This ode to the moon provides listeners with a whole mood and is weaved together with delicate alto/soprano harmonies. Mountains provides an optimistic groove with slick instrumentation and an outro beyond the groove.

The simple, stripped back guitar backing paired with Ella’s vocals in Able ft. Seb Chedick is reminiscent of Nai Palm (of Hiatus Kaiyote’s) solo EP Homebody – an absolute dream.

Seeds, the final track on the project display a real growth in Ella’s journey; you can sense her optimism through jumpy hi-hats and her repeated refrain in the chorus:

Out with old, in with new, pick your seeds to sow/ leave the Cold and the blue, give a chance to grow”.

We’ve been listening to Ella since ‘Blue Jay’ 'Sugar' and 'Homie, Lover, Best Friend', and I speak for all the SH girls when I say are incredibly proud of her growth. This is only the beginning of her journey.

Sorrows Into Silk is out today and available on all major platforms. Follow Ella Frank on Instagram.

Words by @dingsssx

Selective Hearing