Frankie Cosmos is one of those artists who, to the unacquainted, seems to have come out of nowhere. But if you were to (as I’m sure you probably will soon) do a quick scan of her Bandcamp, you’d soon realize that she’s actually rather terrifyingly prolific.
Known to her friends and loved ones as Greta Kline, Frankie Cosmos was most likely regarded as the quiet yet dreamy kid at the back of the class. The other students knew she was a bit off, but her imagination and pensiveness formed a creative cloud around her.
If you’ve been keeping up with Frankie Cosmos’s discography, then you know the maturing stages of her music have been quite a joyful journey of listening. Released in November of last year, her EP, Fit Me In, showed an exploration of synths among the expected variation of guitars, it shows a strong sense of self-editing to the previous stream of consciousness.
The careful sewing and stitching of Next Thing is what makes it even more astonishing to consider this just one insight into a vast collection of work. Gentle yet confident vocals contrast that to the whispers of previous releases. Interwoven harmonies demonstrate an intuitive technique paired with simplistic guitars – there’s no over-the-top reverb pedal action here – only adding to the soul bearing feeling that washes over you throughout the record.
One of the most endearing things about Cosmos’s songs is the inherent awkwardness behind them. While this isn’t to say she’s timid – ‘Is It Possible / Sleep Song’ is pretty ruthless lyrically – there’s definitely a charm to her voice that doesn’t feel like it has to be powerfully soulful to really carry a heartfelt message. Her razor sharp coos are what make this follow up to 2014’s Zenthropy so refreshing.
It’s as if every track is a handwritten poem to be pinned up on your wall, delicate cursive detailing the everyday in wonderful little stories. Opening up just enough to connect fittingly with those emotions we all feel throughout our youth, but not so much as to be transparent – open to interpretation, but not enough to be meaningless. I suppose her ability to come across as both guarded and welcoming seems somewhat obvious since she studies poetry in New York. Still, it’s rather lovely to have this official collection of tracks that straddle an already fine line between music and genuine poetry. But by choosing to write about dogs (‘If I Had A Dog’), or the details of being young and insecure (‘I’m 20’), Cosmos is allowing the listener into her inner dialogue, one that her audience relates to so well.
Often declared as bedroom-pop, the album’s overall theme showcases Cosmos’s craftiness. It’s clear that there’s a great deal of thought that goes into creating each track.While it’s difficult to pinpoint why this record resonates so well with me, the intimacy of the album is immediately detectable. Cutting right to the vein, I’d challenge anyone to listen to this record and remain cold-hearted.
This cleverly handmade collection of songs air on the side of poetry and offer a seemingly simple DIY approach without being insipidly twee. And, for me, Frankie Cosmos is like the best friend I’ve never met that sings sheepish but powerful ballads just to me, a passenger on her musical journey.
Next Thing is due out April 1st on Bayonet Records. You can catch Frankie Cosmos live alongside Porches in the UK this May.