Layla Frankel doesn’t fit in a box, and she’s decided to stop trying.
When she moved to Nashville in 2017, fresh off a cross-country tour in support of her debut EP Tame The Fox, she tried. She sought out musical standing in the neatly defined singer-songwriter scene and the cliques of wannabe country stars. But she was too bluesy for the country artists. Too poppy for folk. And she had more soul on stage than most Nashville audiences had seen before.
Raised in a musical family in Chicago, Layla began performing on stage when she was just four years old. Her involvement in the internationally acclaimed Chicago Children’s Choir gave her a foundation in music theory that she still draws on today. The city itself gave her a soundtrack of hip-hop, R&B, and Latin beats. Even her favorite rock station played folk, pop, and blues. That accessibility to so many genres shaped her outlook on what music should be: unbound by labels, and free to experiment with form, sound and musicality.
Over the years, Layla’s music has developed into a form all of its own, with a genre that might be best described as “Soulcana.” It integrates the vocal style of Bonnie Rait and the sophisticated pop sound of Sheryl Crow. It pays homage to the cryptic, poetic lyricism of Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Most notably, it plays with melodies and unexpected chord structures, learned from studying jazz, and showcases her stunning vocal power and agility. Every song is written with intentional artistry and the mission to tell a story that fans can relate to on some level - all of which can be found in spades when listening to her latest EP, Postcard From The Moon.
Produced by Jim Kimball, a Grammy-honored guitarist who has played for years with Reba McEntire, and recorded at the iconic StartStruck Studio in Nashville, Postcard from the Moon features 6 original tracks that showcase Layla’s timeless, soulful vocals, and skillful craft. From activist-fueled folk song “TLC,” to retro-soul slow jam “Without Suffering,” to a ballad serenading her inner muse, “Josephine, PFTM delivers dynamic, genre-bending songs that push the envelope of the traditional love song.
Layla’s R&B single, “You Can’t Love Me Like I Loved You,” was a finalist in both the 2020 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and The Great American Song Contest, and “Josephine” was a semi-finalist in the Music City Song Star songwriting contest.
In an industry of superlatives, labels, and boxes, Layla’s musical journey has led her to do a little extra soul searching, redefining lines that have been etched so firmly into our cultural musical lexicon. But the ride has led her to unexpected places. The new album is her answer to the fear, frustration, and perseverance she has experienced as a musician looking for her place in the world and finding her voice in the process.