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Frank Hamilton: Making life slightly less awkward

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Frank Hamilton
Frank Hamilton

The St Ives-born singer/songwriter releases his second album

Now based in London, Frank Hamilton was born and raised in St Ives and has been singing for as long as he can remember.

His new album came out at the end of September and is called Songs to Make Life Slightly Less Awkward. The acclaimed indie pop record has so far yielded two singles, the second of which is the recently released Saturday Night. To help create the effect of a busy Saturday night, the low-key video was filmed during the first night of the 24-hour tubes in the capital.

The down-to-earth artist, who favours a DIY approach to music making – and who likes to write tunes that appeal to ordinary everyday people – has made a few changes on this his second album. Less acoustic than his debut, Songs... is packed full of drum machines, electric guitars and even the odd stylophone.

Songs to Make Life Slightly Less Awkward is what it says on the tin, really,” said Hamilton, 31. “Without ever meaning to, the songs I’ve written and released have kind of struck a chord with people.

“I’m always getting people coming up to me and thanking me for helping them get through this period in their life, or seeing that situation from a different perspective. I think that’s quite normal because a lot of records have done the same for me growing up – so I was aware of that when I was writing the album. I thought of the name and fell in love with it, and it was never going to be called anything else from that moment on.

“Actually, it was going to be called Buy This Record If You Want Another One, but I decided against that.”

Hamilton has released two singles from the 13-track album (the first was Lovedrug), but will there be a third?

“I don’t know; I’m not a hundred per cent sure yet. There are a few things in my head. I love the final track More or Less. I think that deserves a video at some point. In terms of whether or not it’s a single, probably not – it’s not particularly upbeat, it’s not particularly radio. So maybe something like Had Enough – that’s probably the biggest shout for the third single next year, and it’s about St Ives actually so that’s quite nice.”

Hamilton is best known for his #OneSongaWeek project, which began in his living room and ended with a number one album on iTunes. It featured the likes of Ed Sheeran, Newton Faulkner, Josephine from Oh Wonder and Lauren Aquilina. The album came out in December 2012 on Hamilton’s own label with no marketing budget and has since sold well over 15,000 copies.

“It was basically borne out of desperation at not being able to get a record deal and belief in the songs I’d written and the small fan base I had at the time,” Hamilton explained. “So I just started it without thinking too much.

“One thing I didn’t want to do was keep releasing EPs, which is what a lot of singer-songwriters do. It’s all just hoping that one thing kicks off and you can sign a big record deal and live happily ever after. But that model seems a bit broken so I wanted to do something else.

“I had the idea on January 2, 2012, released the first song on January 6 and I couldn’t really look back – I just had to carry on. It wasn’t until about week 30 that I took a step back and thought, ‘Actually, this was a great idea’. It went better than I could ever have imagined when I started.”

■ Hamilton’s UK tour starts at the Scala in London on Monday, December 12.

For more information, visit frankhamilton.co.uk.

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