Photo by Alex Burkett

Katie Frank is a singer, and a songwriter, but she’s not necessarily a singer-songwriter. In the past year and change that she’s been on the scene, the Philly musician has asserted herself a gutsy rocker and a true band leader. Hence the album Counting Your Curses, which came out last week, being credited not solely to her – it’s a Katie Frank and the Pheromones release.

The nine-track LP is rich in tones and tempos, leaning country-Americana one moment and switching to anthemic gang vocal rock the next. Frank crafted this dramatic ebb and flow with her long-time collaborator Josh Werblun, her co-Pheromones and with outside collaborators like Philly music mainstay Jim Boggia. There are moments of subtle sensitivity as readily as moments of brash aggression, and while the songs would certainly stand up should Frank decide to perform them by herself, the musical chemistry among this crew seems like that wouldn’t be a decision made hastily.

This week we’re spotlighting Counting Your Curses on Unlocked, The Key’s regular spotlight on new and significant releases by Philadelphia area artists. We’ll have an album review tomorrow, plus an interview and live band photos later in the week. Today we begin with one of the songs that best encapsulates the band-oriented nature of the record – “Halfway Gone” chugs across a Tom Petty style verse into a roaring refrain with thundering drums and a sea of voices. Those voices, that urgency, are necessary to the lack of emotion Frank chastizes in her refrain: “Give her something because she’s halfway gone / ambivalence has stripped her to the bone.”

Download “Halfway Gone” below all week long, courtesy of the band, and check back every day for more from Katie Frank and the Pheromones on Unlocked.