Words: Jordan Gorsuch
The music of Greta Kline aka Frankie Cosmos comes with a charming no-fuss quality. Kline knows how to turn a phrase, and her wordplay suggests a natural poet. Zentropy, her last proper album, came out in 2014, and she’s embraced her newfound success with higher production and deeper instrumentation while maintaining her bedroom-pop sensibilities.
She'll follow-up that release with Next Thing out 4/1. We previously heard the sparkly and haunting lead single, "Sinister," and we're now given "Is It Possible / Sleep Song" a brand new track that segues into a rework of a previous bandcamp upload. Both operate around the idea of changing surroundings and questioning your place in the world.
As with all her music, the songs possess a sweet, subtle sadness that is hard to emulate. On the first of the pair, a quirky synthesizer fires off in the background with stop-and-start guitar and drum beats. “Is it possible / That I really miss you?” Kline sings brightly, later giving way to misgivings about changing circumstances. It’s hard not to relate, we all have had friendships and relationships cut because of circumstances of time and place.
The latter track is one of Kline’s most raw in her discography. The song trades some of that raw, soft-guitar-strummed-earnestness in order to fall more in line with her current output. The rework now has a simple, heavy bass line and supporting instruments to round out the mix. Kline sounds more confident than the prior recording, and the lyrics still cut deep: “Now that I know that every time I get sad you just hate me / You can go to sleep and go to sleep peacefully.” At first she allows the asshole to get her down, she cannot sleep, she blames herself for “playing the victim,” and other toxic red flags. Luckily, it culminates with her cutting ties with her abuser.
The video accompaniment for the tracks is night and day compared to her last outing with “Outside with the Cuties.” Whereas that video possessed some stunning cinematography and editing, this new video is much more humble and personal. Shot by Kline, the footage details travelling across the country, playing on stage, and shots of her puppy. This is all a backdrop for grainy, green screen camera editing with current/past band members appearing alongside Kline to help her sing. It represents the current dichotomy of Franke Cosmos – Kline’s slingshot into the spotlight, and her itching to return to her bedroom. Fortunately, it seems like that conflict is making some rather inspired music.