Franki Love: “Otias”- a diary-like sincerity!

A classically trained pianist, who began playing the piano at the age of 4, Franki Love is an award-winning singer-songwriter living in both Los Angeles and NYC. In 2014, Franki...

A classically trained pianist, who began playing the piano at the age of 4, Franki Love is an award-winning singer-songwriter living in both Los Angeles and NYC. In 2014, Franki successfully funded her new album “Otias” via Kickstarter, an album dedicated to her Mother who passed away from cancer in January 2013. The album title is actually her mother’s maiden name spelled backwards. Franki was mentored by music producer Phil Ramone, who encouraged her to start writing the album after her mom passed away. The 10 track album includes 3 songs produced by Grammy award winning David Kershenbaum, 5 songs produced by Jeremy Dawson (Shiny Toy Guns) and 2 songs produced by Franki Love herself. “Otias” was released on February 1st 2017 on Bandcamp.

The album “Otias” show the songstress challenging herself and her listeners, penning intense songs largely centered on her personal suffering, loss and redemption; though not all of the songs touch on these subjects, allowing subtle rays of love and hope to shine through.

The album is completely unforgettable, and these songs will stay with you, even long after you turn the stereo off. The songs on the album are all infused with Franki’s character. You can get to know her, or at least imagine that you do, just by listening. It’s an important thing.

Franki Love’s fluid melodies and proficiency on the piano, mixed with her poetic, mostly confessional and frequently heartfelt lyrics, as well as a flexible voice that can easily express emotion and wisdom, proves to me that she has natural talents in abundance.

And I already see that she may be one of the most important female artists to emerge from the 2017. There’s a diary-like quality to many elements found on “Otias”, which hooks and pulls you in. And this diary-like sincerity runs through the whole album length – Together with an essence of the artist sitting confident behind her piano confessing vulnerability.

From the moment she kicks off the album with “Notes” (“I know you had to go / This was your time to fly / Who would’ve known things would be this way? / Why do good things have to end?”), Franki Love earns her reputation as a master songwriter on the coherence of her artistic choices.

As in good short stories, every element in her songs works to support a single theme. Just as rereading those stories reveals new layers of meaning, in “Otias”, the interplay between melody, lyrics and production rewards repeated listens with ever more intricate emotional textures.

Lyrically she can pack minimal lines with maximal nuance, creating songs that are paradoxically intimate and vast. Such is the case with “Dreams”“I’ve walked thru firestorms / Naked and scared alone / Now I’m standing here / This time it’s clear”.

And then in the very next song “Walking Wounded”, she fully fleshes out a theme, leaving no room for interpretation – “’Cause we’re living in a world where everyone’s one but everyone wants to run away / We’re living in a world where everyone’s two but everyone wants to do it their way / We are, we are, we are, we are / We are all walking wounded / Walking wounded.” 

Franki Love takes her craft seriously, and the results here are illuminating and at times dizzyingly startling. Particularly warm, deep and enlightening are the back-to-back tracks “Truth” (“One day it’ll be alright / Truth, truth is on my side”) and “Shoes” (“Until you walk in someone shoes / You don’t know what they’re going thru”).

The songs on the album each set a tonal balance between the beauty of a decidedly piano-based sound and a lushly orchestrated one.  Seemingly simple arrangements eventually reveal a delicate intricacy. All throughout, Franki Love the lyricist remains indispensable in describing the human condition under varied emotional situations.

But what also sets these songs apart is an astute dichotomy between melody and accessibility, brilliantly achieved on tracks such as “First Degree” and “Crazy Ride”.  Ultimately cathartic and emotional, these 10 songs cycle through one’s brain and fit distinctively into Love’s storytelling oeuvre.

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