Respect The Neighbors • Frankie Cosmos
Frankie Cosmos is the band of New York singer-songwriter Greta Kline. She has a light but fast touch to her music, a musical candy head-rush. From the perspective of a Chicago music fan it could be tempting to lump her in with one of many Brooklyn indie-rockers out East, but she’s been a standout, a vet in her field at this point and not the usual Pitchfork fodder. Beginning as Ingrid Superstar, Kline began releasing music as Frankie Cosmos a few years ago and has been flying her fans to the moon ever since. That's no small feat when “releasing music” means almost 40 projects since 2011 between her two aliases. As Frankie Cosmos, Greta Kline has found the rare bridge between quality and quantity.
We’ll take the macro scale here, because that’s a wild amount of music to break down. Frankie Cosmos has been bumming around the New York indie / DIY scene since she was a teenager, but a few releases specifically bear mentioning in the last couple years. First, there’s Zentropy; this was the beginning of Kline finding success on a larger scale. It’s darker and fuzzier than her later music (far more distortion on this project), with less instrumental flourishes but the same self-contemplation of her past releases. Her Fit Me In EP explores a sound combining synths, drum machines and instrumentation, an effective foray into a dreamy dance world over 4 tracks. It carries that warped-tape nostalgia, an auditory blast of memory that can be oh-so effective while still exceeding the energy of Zentropy. Which brings us to Next Thing, combining the best aspects of both projects; Zentropy's introspection and Fit Me In's cohesive and unique aesthetic.
Released on April 1 this year, Next Thing has a tempered energy, patiently building Frankie Cosmos’s universe around you. It feels like the sum of the best parts of her past work and reflection remains a common theme to her music. As with her past releases, there’s a diary-entry vibe to Next Thing, one that embraces her humanity and humor (and heartbreak) simultaneously; no empty rock lyrics here.
Ever present is the idea of moving beyond the defensiveness of self-deprecation. Frankie Cosmos songs are vignettes of Kline's mind that you get dropped into, personality spreading to the farthest corners of her album and pronounced by a combo of lush instrumentation and production ticks. Above all this rises Kline's voice, airy yet cutting through anything and everything. Most importantly, it's her perspective that cuts through the bullshit; Frankie Cosmos doesn't work without Kline's literal and figurative voice as an artist. Which makes her preferred method of releasing music, in favor of the album over the track, perfect. Each album a different feel, and each track a different chapter of Frankie Cosmos moving from one day to the next. It's a big library, dive in wherever and start exploring the stars with her.