Mischievous on the outside, tender on the inside. Every musician is a storyteller at heart, but rarely is a band as lovable as the frisky and animated Frankie Cosmos. Started out as a solo project by Greta Kline, Frankie Cosmos have become a full-fledged band whose wistful mood and sensibility we thoroughly enjoy.
Being a poetry-loving singer-songwriter, Greta offers a dazzling array of slice of life stories—from experiencing jet lag to confronting her own insecurity. Following the success of their third album Vessel released through Sub Pop, their full-length fourth album Close It Quietly continues to delight us to no end.
The opener ‘Moonsea’ is a great track to start off the album. Greta blurts out, “The world is crumbling and I don’t have much to say.” And then on one of our favourite tracks ‘So Blue’, Greta sings with candour and humour, “The sky is so blue, it makes everything else blue. The trucks, the stones, the view. I am so blue, I make everyone else blue. My friends, my enemies, you”. By acknowledging one’s inability to save the world or to simply put a lid on their raw emotions, Frankie Cosmos have found a way to laugh at their own flaws and pains.
Originally released on their digital-only solo piano album Haunted Items, their second single ‘Rings (on a Tree)’ captures the essence of unreciprocated love. “I see now that it was wrong, so wrong, to try to hold on to a falling tree: One that wouldn’t even look at me, whose sticks were all arranged so evenly, who wasn’t holding arms out lovingly”. Clarity sets in and this is the wake-up call that urges us to make sense of the bittersweet reality.
On ‘Last Season’s Textures’, Greta sings in soft exasperation to remind us to be afraid of complacency: “I’m just fucking glad for my bubble, despite how often it is penetrated by evil”. She explained, “[It’s] partly about misogyny and internalised misogyny—moments where I’ve felt betrayed by what is meant to be a safe space.” Even though all the liberal-minded media has told us that things are getting better, Greta reassures us that it’s okay to feel despair.
Known for directing hilarious music videos, Frankie Cosmos have something special for their endearing love song ‘Wannago’. Having a fondness for cooking competition shows, the band decided to bake funky showstopper cakes this time. The adrenaline you experience in the Bake Off tent is perhaps equivalent to what you’d experience in a romantic relationship. It’s intense, exciting, and you don’t know if you’re going to win or lose.
With Frankie Cosmos, the songs are always in perfect disharmony—joyous compositions, anxiety-ridden lyrics. According to Sub Pop, Close It Quietly was set to be a shadow self of past releases, which almost resonated with the lyrics of ‘Jesse’ on Vessel—“I like to be a shadow in a shadow, more deep when visible than invisible”. Instead of looking inwards, it’s about projecting outwards. With a total of twenty-one tracks, Close It Quietly is undoubtedly a beautiful and consistently entertaining album.