You might know Frank Hamilton as the guy who wrote one song a week for a year or that bloke who recorded an EP on the London Eye with a string quartet in 28 minutes (the exact time it takes for it to go round), but this time, Frank is doing things the conventional way. His studio album Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward comes out this Friday and we had a chance to talk to the man himself.
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. The release of Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward is soon, how nervous are you?
Not at all, thanks for having me… and for some nice, non-generic questions! :) Honestly? I’m doing ok!
You described your single ‘LoveDrug’ as being about ‘us humans, our habits and the changes we’d like to make but don’t always get round to’. What’s one of those changes that you haven’t been getting round to?
I guess smoking’s too obvious so let’s go for over-thinking – I spend a lot of time getting lost in my own head and sometimes it’s fine (it’s how songs are born) but more often than not it’s a vicious circle. Sort of like digging a hole, jumping in and then struggling for ages to get out… before picking up the shovel and doing it all over again! What was it Einstein said about insanity? * raises hand *
Song To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward will not only be released on CD, digital download, and vinyl, but also on cassette! Why cassette?
I’m not exactly sure – I just quite like the idea. The first record I ever bought was Blur’s Great Escape album on cassette, so maybe there’s a bit of nostalgia in there? It’s also quite cool visually – you can see the tape winding round and hear the sound coming out – I like that.
After unconventional projects as #OneSongaWeek and recording an EP on the London Eye with a string quartet, you’re now releasing a studio album. How different was the song writing process for this album, compared to when you wrote for #OneSongaWeek?
The most obvious difference was the timeframe (or lack of), which was a mixed bag – more time can be a blessing but it can also be a curse. It’s also been a much more introspective process than #OneSongaWeek and the London Eye EP, neither of which would have been possible without some form of collaboration.
Some of the songs on Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward are described as ‘your existential crises set to music’. Is the album as serious as it sounds?
I guess on paper you could point to the subject matters and spin it that way, but in reality I’m just a bloke writing about the things he thinks and feels – not to be taken too seriously!
That said, and to completely contradict myself, I do have faith in these songs to make people’s lives slightly less awkward, like so many albums have done for me in the past.
I think the beauty of albums (and a reason they’ll never die) is that once they’re released it almost doesn’t matter what the artist’s intentions were, people will make their own minds up and take whatever they want or need from it.
You wrote with Ed Sheeran for #OneSongaWeek. What was it like to work with him?
It happened over email so it was a bit weird – I’d sooner have sat in a room with a couple of guitars but what a lad for getting involved in the first place! Says a lot about a person when they’re off conquering the world and still finding time for the little people :)
One last question. Your album has been characterized as “a self-help guide masquerading as an indie-pop record”. What’s the best self-help advice you can give us?
Buy my album (obviously). You asked for that.
#1: Love yourself – unconditionally if possible. (easier said than done – I’m still working on it)!
#2: Have more empathy for others and also for yourself. Helps with #1.
#3: Fake it till you make it.
Watch Frank’s latest video for ‘Saturday Night’ below.