Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos has never really had a hard time writing songs. One page turn through her discography will show you that she’s released a slew on songs through varying project names over the years. With Frankie Cosmos, Klein has always employed an indie rock sound that’s fueled by pop underpinnings, and what emerges is a jangle pop sound that’s hard to walk away from. On their new album Close It Quietly, Frankie Cosmos delivers over twenty songs that not only draw on your ears, but expand the band’s sound as well.
There’s a lot to unpack here, not just because there’s so much music, but what these songs represent. If you look at it like early Guided By Voices records, Klein is just putting out a record. If you look at it like a diary where some songs needed to be under a minute long and that’s all, then it may make more sense to a casual listener. The songs are strewn about in a way that could make those unfamiliar with the work of the band alarmed to a degree. So if you’re just tuning in, the last album came out a year ago and it was thirty three minutes in length with eighteen tracks, some of which weren’t even a minute long. That continues again on the Gabe Wax produced album, clocking in at thirty nine minutes with twenty one tracks, some of which that don’t make it to a minute.
Where the opener comes off as a jangle pop meets dream pop tone, it quickly changes direction and has an explosive edge. The rhythm changes here are extraordinarily marked with falsetto vocals that shimmer like a shining star above the music. That indie pop tone plays throughout on tracks like the upbeat bop “Cosmic Shop,” the carefully constructed notes of “So Blue” and the gurgled indie rock tone of “Last Season’s Textures.” There’s so much in the arrangements that go to another level of songwriting that shows how far the band has come in a short time.
But the true adoration for the album comes in the softer songs. “Rings (On A Tree)” isn’t the speediest of tracks, and its moderate opening opens to a snappier stride that’s lush with multiple guitars tracks, drums and a bass line that dances with a synth that adds a nice texture. “Self-destruct” has this endearing acoustic that pairs well with Kline’s soft voice, almost like a lullaby that doesn’t need a long run time. “With Great Purpose” has this tender stroke that reminds you of some of the earlier Bandcamp releases from Kline, before an organ comes in and helps add a depth to the song that you may not expect. The extra vocals contain a charm that’s on a Brian Wilson level, and the song just warms you as it plays out. But while the soft songs work so well and while the singles pop out as great examples, the closing track “This Swirling” contains plenty of what makes the album a stand out. With a more focused sound, a pop lead buried in an indie rock gem, and dual vocals that bring up the song’s weight, it’s just enough to get you to hit repeat or flip the vinyl over.
Close It Quietly is available in bundles as well as on multiple formats directly from Sub Pop Records, it can be streamed wherever you stream music or it can be purchased digitally in all online music stores. Frankie Cosmos is on tour beginning September 18 in Boston, MA at Royale until November 16 in Berkeley, CA at The UC Theatre. The band’s complete tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Jackie Lee Young.