Frankie Cosmos- the brain child pop project of New Yorker Greta Kline- is a DIY icon, known for her astonishingly prolific output of independent releases as well as her lyrical intimacy and frankness; responsible for such gems as “You are what you shit/take a look in my toilet”. Her new full length ‘Next Thing’, set for release April 1st via Bayonet Records, might be lightyears away from the super lo-fi of 2012’s ‘Much Ado About Fucking’, but is the clear amalgamation of 4 years of countless releases that explored everything from spoken word to synth pop.
In this way, ‘Next Thing’ feels like a definitive moment; while still holding onto the highly personal lyrical content and DIY ethos, the cleaner production and more multi-instrumental approach lend a sense of musical maturity and coherence to the LP. Fourth track ‘Embody’ demonstrates this most explicitly, a truly beautiful piece of melodic guitar pop that sees Kline loved up with someone who, in her delicate turn of phrase “could be the one who did embody all the grace and lightness” . Though these thematic threads of adoration run through the record, it’s never too sweet or twee due to the frequent witticisms and jolts of self-deprecation that are woven in. As with artists like Girlpool and Laura Marling, for Frankie Cosmos the boldness lies not in harsh vocals or abrasive guitar refrains but in the exposure and vulnerability, the bravery of laying bare the most private moments.
‘Sappho’ is one of the album’s greatest triumphs, an immersive narrative (“From the street I see your window and I look up in/Is that even your house?/Is that Sappho that you’re reading?”) that creates a voyeuristic listening experience. Bringing the LP to a close with the minimalistic electronic track ‘O Dreaded C Town’ is a welcome departure, as if the album can be criticised for anything it could be considered a little homogeneous. The sharp drum machine dripping beneath the softly spoken words of regret close the record in a moment of transient change. Kline pores over tiny, intimate moments with a magnifying glass, revealing minute details of tenderness and anxiety that trigger memories in a wider audience; the personal made global.