Pennsylvania-born and Nashville-based singer/songwriter Katie Frank is days out from releasing her new EP Small Town Minds, and today she's premiering the full album exclusively with Holler.
Small Town Minds draws together an array of influences — alt-country, pop, roots — all of which are fused together by Frank's straightforward attitude and candid lyricism.
On the title track, the rising artist calls out people who feel threatened by change. "'Cause nobody's coming for your pride / Nobody's breaking in tonight / Sleep safe inside your little small-town mind / While the world leaves you behind", she sings with a charge.
Frank explained, "I was inspired to write the title track after the BLM protests, and seeing the close-minded reactions from people in my hometown".
The album originated in Philadelphia but ended in Nashville, and straddles another divide as well. "About half of the songs on Small Town Minds were written during quarantine and the intense political climate", Frank said.
Frank addresses restrictive mindsets (on 'Small Town Minds') and people who put on a show to hide the truth (on 'Politician') alongside more personal narratives. Take 'Hey Dale', for instance, which finds Frank reflecting on who she was at age five, and wanting to hold tight to that spirited child. Small Town Minds is a blend of the personal and the political that showcases a bright singer/songwriter talent.
"I'm proud of how my writing has evolved over the past few years", Frank said. "I've gotten far better at not listening to my inner critic, and at not being afraid to write about certain topics more directly. I think these songs hold a common thread, but are each unique enough to stand on their own".
The EP is a major milestone for Frank, who moved to Nashville in 2019 to pursue music full-time. The question, whether she should really go for it, was a hard one to answer at first. In the lead-up to that major life change, she'd been working as a recreational therapist in a nursing home. Although healthcare was work she enjoyed, she ultimately felt like something was missing.
Frank had grown up in a family of musicians. She even taught herself to play the piano by ear at the age of 10. Music turned out to be the missing piece. "I made a few trips down to Nashville to test the waters, and after a few writing sessions, I knew that Nashville was the place to be if I wanted to truly pursue music, which had been an inner battle for me", she said.
Five-year-old Frank would be proud.
Small Town Minds is out Oct. 8.