Frank Ene Dissects Inner Fixations on “Flesh In A Womb”

There’s something eating away at Frank Ene, deep inside. It has been festering, but it’s slowly oozing out. Unworthiness, failure, and other emotional hangups—sometimes he believes he’s the only one who has ever felt this way. “I’m an expert at feeling sorry for myself and truly believing that no one has it worse than me,” says Ene. “I constantly feel like I’m being abused and ridiculed.”

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The Bay Area artist pokes through his varied internalizations on “Flesh In A Womb.”

“Fueled by warm beer, fruit brandy, and Danish Export, I sought to write a little lament in hopes that that may ease some pretty unsettling thoughts I was having,” Ene tells American Songwriter. “I can be overdramatic at times.”

Featuring songwriter, and Fresh & Onlys guitarist Wymond Miles,”Flesh In A Womb” is one of six tracks off Ene’s upcoming debut No Longer (Empty Cellar Records), out July 10, and comes from a place of extreme sincerity, says Ene. 

“It’s flawed, blown out of proportion, or whatever, but, nonetheless, it is sincere,” he says. “It’s a cry for help but a cry for help that I legitimately believe whenever I listen to it.”

Everything is mostly dark. Eerily moving out of a dim-lit bathtub to his contemplative state in a darkened hotel room, the “Flesh In A Womb” video, directed by Ron Harrell, lays Ene bare and is a graphic surgery of his state of mind. Danish subtitles flash at the bottom, and there’s something sinister, seething, and combustible even through its lethargy. “We filmed this delicious piece in a dilapidated and miserable motel off Route 99 in Everett, WA,” says Ene. “Ultimately, the video was inspired by an illicit night I had at a venue called Culture Box in Copenhagen.”

Written in a period of voluntary self-isolation—working predominantly in the basement of a frame shop with random visits to UC Berkeley to peer at students—following the demise of his former band Pure Bliss, Ene penned No Longer. Vividly orchestrated, the tracks are specks of haunting revelations of the inner workings of one’s mind.

Playing every instrument on album was something Ene wanted to do, but in piecing together each track, music and melodies never actively come to Ene. That’s not how it happens. That’s not how a song formulates. For Ene, the “writing” process is more haphazard, meditative, and somewhat jarring.

“I wait for a song to enter my mind and then I teach myself the song on guitar,” he says “Of course, the lyrics are a whole other animal, but as far as the music and melodies go, that’s how I operate. I don’t believe in risks when it comes to music. It’s music. How can I be at risk to myself?”

To Ene, music isn’t a life or death thing. “Call it being in denial, but I feel like I can do whatever I want with sounds,” says Ene. “And I plan on doing that as long as I am here.”

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