The hypnotising vocals of Sam Frankl’s debut solo single ‘Macondo’ are like dreamy waves with a stern emotional backbeat. Co-produced with emerging beatmaker LuQus, ‘Macondo’ embraces a downtempo, electronic framework interspersed with stunning live instrumentation from cellist Meg Ella, alongside percussion from Only Rays and vibraphone by Rob Hervais-Adelman (Stompy’s Playground).
We interviewed the blonde heart throb to see what he’s been up to since his release…
SAM FRANKL – Interview
Where are you and what are you going to be doing today?
I’m in my studio in Battersea. I’m working on the mix of a new song and having absolutely no luck with it. This is a welcome break because I think I’m just making everything worse.
What is your earliest memory of music?
I travelled a lot as a child both by road and sea. My parents figured out early on that music was the best pacifier for when I got restless on long journeys. Mostly we’d listen to folk music and sea shanties. I have a vague memory of being elated when I finally managed to sing along to one whole side of the tape. A couple of years ago I found that sea shanty cassette and discovered that I’d been mostly singing about hookers and rum. I still knew all the words.
Why is your first release named ‘Macondo’?
I wrote the song having spent a summer reading books from the Latin American Boom. Macondo is the name of the fictional town in many of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s books. I was writing and rewriting songs about the same break up at the time. Those books allowed me to re-approach the subject with a far broader scope. I wrote the song as though the relationship was being viewed from afar, almost as a personal mythology. It stopped me from being morose in my writing and helped me create something more objective and hopefully more poignant.
What’s your favorite hangout in London/Worldwide?
I love Spanish and Latin music so, in London; Sevilla Mia. Great live music and late opening hours, two wonderful and increasingly rare traits.
I want to show some love for the 10th Arrondissement, so in Paris; Le Comptoir Général. But worldwide I’ve never been to a bar that could match Earnestine & Hazel’s in Memphis. Downstairs is a regular dive bar. Upstairs was once a brothel; the layout hasn’t much changed. There are several pianos in the former bedrooms, which people play at will. Out in the halls it all tangles together into this strange discordant hum. Unsurprisingly, it’s rumoured to be haunted. There is something otherworldly about it…‘til some prick starts playing Wonderwall in the master suite.
Any new bands you are currently listening to we need to know about?
I think Goldlink and Petite Noir have made the most fascinating records of the year. Louie Lastic, Goldlink’s producer is pioneering something really special and is absolutely top of my list of producers I’d like to work with.
What’s in store for the next year?
My first official release, available on all platforms, will be out in February, with a follow up in March/April and an EP in early summer. The material is almost finished so it’s starting to feel like a reality and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll start with some acoustic shows in the New Year, working toward a full live band by the end of spring.
What do you do to get away from everything?
It doesn’t sound like much of an escape but I play flamenco guitar. It’s something that feels like a hobby within music, something that I do purely for the tactile love of it. I recently visited Mexico and came home with two guitars from Paracho; the guitar making capital of Latin America. They’re hanging in my flat and honestly I can’t keep my hands off them.
What was the last thing that really made you stop and stare?
I was just walking across Battersea Park and I saw a goose fall over. No word of a lie, it was prancing along and it tripped over its own feet.