Premiere: Emma Frank’s Poised & Personal “I Thought” Is an Exploration of Commitment

Emma Frank-Shervin Lainez
With her delicately sweet vocals accompanied by simple yet powerful piano, drum beats, and guitar strums, Emma Frank has made “I Thought” into one of 2019’s most gorgeous tracks.

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Growing older and walking new paths in life doesn’t mean others must be closed off – that one must abandon all they love and cherish. For Emma Frank, this realization is one that has taken time to fully unravel and become apparent. With her latest single, “I Thought,” Frank dives into personal territory where she explores the problems of her extreme thinking through whispered vocals, soft melodies, and a serene presentation that will leave listeners speechless with its beauty, and Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering it today.

Stream: “I Thought” – Emma Frank


Brooklyn-based artist Emma Frank has a penchant for the bold. Her musicality often encompasses sprawling soundscapes that range from folk, R&B, and sometimes even jazz. 2018’s Ocean Av saw a growth for Frank – emboldened with richer sounds and melodies. With “I Thought,” the first single from her upcoming album Come Back, Frank grabs what makes her music so praiseworthy and turns the dial to eleven.

Emma Frank – I Thought

You’ll come back I know
When the waves have opened
And I’m fully grown

The track kicks off with percussion beats and soft strokes of piano keys, Frank’s dulcet vocals following soon after. “There’s never a limit to how much we change. And I thought we’d finished. I thought I was to blame,” she sings, opening up about her propensity to think the worst no matter how small the situation might be. Her honesty is heartwarming and pure, allowing the listener to sink into the track with an ease that is only achieved by Frank’s strong sense of melodic direction and open lyricism.

Deadened throat and eyes
From the dust of our old life

As the track continues, subdued strings enter the mix that add a sense of brevity that provides the song with feelings of warmth and comfort. “And I thought love vanished – That I’d lost for good,” she continues with a hushed toned. As she further explores her issue of blaming herself for the result of change, the melodies begin to embolden, but it’s never noisy. It still retains the placid tone that wafts around listeners, seducing them with its powerful simplicity and charm. That same charm is then taken into a more tangible form. What Frank translated aurally Ayo Tsalithaba translated visually with the track’s video.

“To film ‘I Thought,’ Ayisha Gariba (Ayo) and I went out to the suburbs of Toronto, to a big empty studio,” Frank tells Atwood Magazine. “We had planned on building towering stacks of books that we would knock down. Then we realized that this would mess up the books. So, instead, we kept it small, making little towers and using what we had in the space – some retro orange chairs, a huge plastic tarp, and a lot of sunshine. We got into the symbolism of the objects we were playing with – a huge plastic tarp with all of these wrinkles that you can’t smooth out; playing musical chairs with myself; stacking books in an unstable way that’s bound to fall over. We were exploring the ideas of construction and deconstruction, of doubt and of questioning the path you’re on.”

She continues, “Then, we also thought it would be fun to use water – sonically, this song makes me think about whale noises. We needed a pool, so I rented an Airbnb in a weird Toronto high rise with fancy amenities. We shot very cautiously while some sweet elderly women chilled in the hot tub next to us. I was reminded that it’s hard to keep your eyes open under water, and that I wouldn’t mind having a pool in my apartment building.”


Emma Frank grabs the roots of multiple genres and brings forth of gorgeous and impressive array of soundscapes that showcase her musical talent with tremendous distinction. She has an innate ability of putting one at ease and leaving smiles wherever she goes. There’s no release date for Come Back as of yet, but with “I Thought” having been released, listeners will be satisfied for quite some time.

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Adrian is a 2017 Florida State University graduate where he focused on editing, writing, and media. He is now living in Seattle, Washington. Adrian works as a digital marketer, but music and all that goes into it continues to be a passion of his. You may find Adrian wondering around the city aimlessly (more than likely lost) or at home watching anime, movies, or reading anything sci-fi related. He can also make a dang good plate of shrimp scampi.