Frank Hamilton is an indie-pop singer-songwriter, who released his new album Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward a few weeks ago. Known for his #OneSongaWeek project, and for recording an EP on the London Eye with a string quartet, Frank has once again delivered something pretty special.
Described as “a self-help guide masquerading as an indie-pop record”, Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward is a 13-track offering full of intricate melodies, anthemic sounds and catchy hooks. We are treated to relatable, honest and candid lyrics, with Frank’s songwriting taking centre stage. He also breaks away from your stereotypical singer-songwriter sound, with the inclusion of the spoken word, electric guitars, drum machines and the odd stylophone. In fact, it’s hard to believe that aside from the live drums, the whole album was recorded in Frank’s living room.
Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward kicks off with ‘A.O.T.C’, which instantly draws you in with the sound of whistling. The track talks of the monotony of day-to-day life, and also features YouTubers Dodie Clark and Evan Edinger. ‘A.O.T.C’ is a laid back offering which sets a pleasant tone for the rest of the album.
It leads onto ‘Lovedrug’, which was Frank’s first single from the album. It is a slightly more upbeat offering, which speaks of ‘the changes we’d like to make but don’t always get round to’. We love the addictive beat in the song, and the lyrics are easy to relate to.
’10 Days’ is an outright bop. If the opening bars don’t make you want to dance then there’s something wrong somewhere. The track is an optimistic ode, urging you to sort your life out. It’s fast and frantic, and definitely an album highlight.
Keeping to the theme of change, ‘Had Enough’ is slighly more pessimistic, however, there is an anthemic element to it which we love. In all honesty, the track wouldn’t be out of place on The Script or One Republic’s albums.
‘Songs We Fall Asleep To’ has a lullaby effect (unsurprising considering its title), in terms of being peaceful. The emotion-filled track discusses the ups and downs of a relationship, and if it’s worth fighting for. There is a beautiful guitar interlude around the two-minute mark, which we can imagine would be stunning live.
Next up is ‘Saturday Night’, Frank’s latest single. The chorus is catchy, sing-a-long, clap-a-long material, which makes us want to play the track on repeat. Again, there’s a whistling section which adds to the upbeat tempo of the track. Check out the music video for it below, which was filmed during Frank’s journey home from a night out on the opening weekend of London’s night tube.
‘Recycling’ is the next album track, and it’s got nothing to do with being green as such. However, it is a clever metaphor for starting over again with someone. We love the use of percussion throughout the indie track, particularly the change in tempo around the two-minute mark.
‘Red’ is another anthemic offering, with elements of folk throughout. The chorus is one you’ll be singing at the top of your lungs during any of Frank’s live shows. It leads on to ‘What If’, which poses a series of questions, such as: “What if happy was a channel we could choose? What if music never made it past the blues? What if God was just a bloke who drives a bus?” The questions are even more effective when they are spoken rather than sung later on in the song. Whilst ‘What If’ is an existential crisis set to music, it remains light-hearted thanks to its cheerful beat.
As we come to the last few tracks on the album, ‘We Started A Band’ provides a moment to reflect. For us, it didn’t really leave a lasting effect but it’s pleasant enough and is quite possibly a grower with time.
’21C’ however, grabs you instantly. It has a The 1975 vibe to it, and is another of Frank’s existential crises. The track discusses the fast pace of life in the 21st century, including the emphasis on new technology. It’s one of the most relatable tracks on the album, as we all have those moments where we have no clue what we’re doing or who we’re supposed to be.
The penultimate track is ‘The Only Cloud’, which tackles the subject of depression. Whilst it has dark elements to it, overall, it is an upbeat take on a condition which cripples millions of people across the world. ‘More Or Less’ is the final track on Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward, which also takes a darker turn. The duet with Dodie Clark discusses a breakdown and is one of the most candid tracks on the album. Their voices blend beautifully and there is a haunting element to the song. Whilst it ends the album on a sombre note, its content will resonate with many.
Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward is an album which will indeed make your life slightly less awkward. Frank discusses a number of issues and situations which we can all relate to, and it makes us realise that we’re not alone in how we feel sometimes. There’s a great mix of catchy tracks, as well as the odd track which truly showcases his ability to stir your emotions. Frank is a very clever lyricist, and if the memorable melodies fail to impact on you, his insightful lyrics will.
Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward is available to download and stream now. Physical copies will be available in selected stores from Friday (October 21).
Don’t forget to check out our recent interview with Frank Hamilton too.
What are your thoughts on Frank Hamilton and Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.