With a broad and diverse array of offerings under his belt already this year, Texas-based singer and songwriter Sam Franklin recently returned with his sophomore EP Strange Times, led up by the new single NSF.
Taking influence from an indie-rock aesthetic and applying it to bold and shimmering electronics, NSF makes for an instantly impactful listen. Showcasing his stellar vocals alongside this warped hybrid of a track gives us a wonderfully captivating and unique direction from the artist.
So with the new single and EP available now, we sat him down to discuss them as well as anything else he has on the horizon.
Hi Sam, how are you today?
I’m great! It’s a beautiful day in Austin, Texas. I went for a run, drank my tea, and cleaned my apartment so I’m feeling pretty accomplished already. This is my first ever interview so thank you so much for having me!
For those that aren’t familiar with your sound, how would you best describe it?
My sound is primarily bedroom pop, combined with elements of alt-rock, electronic, and hip-hop – similar to Dayglow, Cuco, or Rex Orange County. I’m inspired by all kinds of different music and I love experimenting with new sounds.
You have just released your new single ‘NSF’. What was the inspiration behind that release and what does it stand for?
‘NSF’ stands for “insufficient funds”, and it’s about being broke and trying to be happy. When I see famous people on social media, it’s hard not to get jealous of their money and seemingly perfect lives. I get caught up in constantly comparing myself to others and it keeps me from noticing how good my life really is. Of course I want to be rich and famous and successful, but I have to remind myself that it won’t bring inner peace and true happiness to my life.
And was there a particular vibe you were going for on that release?
I definitely wanted ‘NSF’ to feel like you’re in motion, like you’re taking a drive with the windows down. The bass and the drums really set the pace of the song, fast but not too fast, and the choruses drop out the beat only to build it back up to this big explosion, which is a great feeling of triumph that I think perfectly nails the message of the lyrics.
It is also lifted from your latest EP ‘Strange Times’. Are you pleased with how the EP turned out?
I’m so happy with how the EP turned out! My friend Daniel Ahmed helped produce all of the songs on it and getting to collaborate with him is always incredible. He helped me produce a few songs in 2016 and we’ve both become much better producers since then. This EP took about 7 months from start to finish, most of which I spent mixing it, and I’m incredibly proud of how everything turned out. It’s my best work yet.
Coronavirus has obviously halted the live gigs, but what do you have planned for the rest of the year?
My plans are to keep writing and recording, I’ve been really trying to step up my production and mixing game, and I have a lot of songs that I need to record. Since I released ‘Strange Times’, I’ve been taking a break and having fun making beats with no pressure, which has been great. I might try to release some more music this year… we’ll see.
And finally, what has been your most treasured memory since you started as a musician?
Ah that’s tough! There have been so many awesome memories. Playing a sold out show where I’ve seen one of my favourite artists play was incredible, but I think my most treasured memory would be talking on the phone to a fan in Germany. It blows my mind that through the power of the internet, my music is heard across the entire world and it actually touches people’s lives.
Sam Franklin’s new EP Strange Times is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in full below.