Young Detroit Artist and DIME Freshman, Frank Harrington, Talks Bridging Gaps, Style, and Kidnapping with Senior, Jimmy Showers
Frank Harrington is currently enrolled in the BA Commercial Songwriting course at the Detroit Institute of Music Education. I spoke with the young guitarist and songwriter one afternoon in the city he hopes will inspire him as it has so many of his role models. I wanted to know him and know more about the music he creates—the music that is drawing attention from local venues and fans for its unique flavor, a sound he describes as, “a mixture of Alabama Shakes meets early Arctic Monkeys with just a touch of Mac DeMarco.” Frank speaks about music with the same nostalgic comfort one finds digging and listening through a stack of vinyl records—he’s the cool friend that you’ve always known. Although he states, “I just want to be in the 70s”, his appeal is timeless. I asked Frank some questions about his sound, his current project, Brother Son, and got to know more about the suburban kid looking to make a name in Detroit.
Frank, brother to five and son to two, recalls his childhood as seemingly normal, growing up just outside Detroit in outlying Birmingham. A promising athletic pathway to the Olympics was cut short in the seventh grade when he discovered guitar, which just, “made sense” to him. Years later in his high school choir class, Frank discovered music and its correlation to self-expression and he was sold. It’s obvious that Frank’s love for music is strong as he gushes over his idols from the 1970s such as Lou Reed and The Eagles. Frank loves life, and consequently life and love propel the young songwriter as thematic elements in his music. His Instagram bio is simple – “Heartthrob”—so it makes sense that the first song he ever wrote, “Shy Remarks” was about heartache. What is unexpected, however is that the longing heart Frank sings about describes his kidnapping and boarding in Samoa. He spent the concluding months of his high school senior year isolated and miles away from home. This did allow him to hone some original songs for his musical aspirations and when he returned he got to work.
Hanging around his local music shop, Frank discovered DIME—The Detroit Institute of Music Education—auditioned, succeeded, and enrolled in the fall of 2016. Now currently in his second semester in the songwriting program, he believes that DIME is, “setting the bar” and kicking his creativity into overdrive: “I have never written as many songs as I have just in this last semester alone”.
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Along with furthering his education at the school in Detroit, Frank now lives in the city too which he says has only helped to inspire him. “The city is beautiful. It’s chill and totally low-key and just amazing,” says Frank about his apartment’s view of the developing downtown. To Frank, inspiration can come in many forms and he is no slouch in finding new ways to formulate expression. While currently excelling as a songwriter, guitarist, and student at DIME, Frank recently added another layer to his persona—fronting his newly formed band, Brother Son. The four piece is working on releasing two singles in the coming weeks in preparation for the release of their first EP this spring with live shows to follow. The sound, he describes, is, “sexy, but sophisticated.”
From his local roots to his newfound love in the Motor City, Frank is a force full of potential. His breaking into the local scene will come with a warm welcome for his unique and fresh flavor coupled with his charisma and charm. After all, what’s cooler than being cool? Well, that would be being Frank Harrington—ice cold.
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