Frankie Simone is healing and they invite you to heal too. The Portland-based pop artist releases their debut full-length record this Friday, two years after the release of EP “LOVE//WARRIOR.” Simone’s EP was celebratory, fierce, marked by abundance and pride enveloping their intersecting identities as a non-binary, queer, Latinx person.
“Sensitive Creature” is a continuation of those themes, undoubtedly, yet there is a marked growth as Simone balances more quiet, soft moments with the assertive and bold. The record is a meditation on loving yourself, largely informed by a need to process a substantial change in Simone’s relationship with relationships as they explore non-monogamy. To be clear, this record isn’t about a breakup; it’s about a breakthrough.
“What’s my core reason for making music, first and foremost? I do it to heal myself, I do it to hopefully bring healing to other people, for other people to feel less alone,” Simone told me over Zoom. The creation of the record reflects both halves of this purpose: Simone needed to process a new non-monogamous element of their marriage to their wife, Che Che Luna, and the pair of them had to do so without blueprints or role models to be found in their community.
“It was one of the deepest, darkest depressions that I’ve ever experienced,” said Simone. “Then I also have this deep eagerness to grow and I’m just so curious about life—like why are we here and what’s possible in this life with all the things we can challenge. At first, it wasn’t like, ‘OK, I’m going to do a concept album about non-monogamy,’ I just have a lot of feelings and I just need to get them out and let’s see what happens.” Enter “Sensitive Creature.”
The album, due Sept. 4, is a collection of 13 tracks filled with mantras-as-refrains, hooks that won’t leave your brain for days, and cathartic interludes. Played separately, it’ll satisfy all of your pop-bop, empowerment-core needs. Listened to through, it also tells a story of vulnerability, self-love, and transformation, acknowledging Frankie Simone’s previous shout-it-from-the-rooftops dance-pop anthems and adding depth and range of emotion and delivery.
Simone themselves recently entered into a relationship outside of their marriage, just months before the release of a record born out of coming to terms with their partner doing the same.
“There’s definitely been a lot of perspective shift happening that feels really important to this overall growth that’s happening for myself and my relationship with Che Che. I’m getting to have so much more compassion for the places that Che was in. Now I’m having the experience of just listening to them in a completely different mindset. That perspective has been really healing.”
“Sensitive Creature” is out on Sept. 4 on local label Infinite Companion.