Frankie Cosmos (MOVED TO BOOT & SADDLE)

Close It Quietly is a continual reframing of the known. It’s like giving yourself a haircut or rearranging your room. You know your hair. You know your room. Here’s the same hair, the same room, seen again as something new. Close It Quietly takes the trademark Frankie Cosmos micro-universe and upends it, spilling outwards into a swirl of referentiality that’s a marked departure from earlier releases, imagining and reimagining motifs and sounds throughout the album. FC’s fourth studio release is a manifestation of the band’s collaborative spirit: Greta Kline and longtime bandmates Lauren Martin (synth), Luke Pyenson (drums), and Alex Bailey (bass) luxuriated in studio time with Gabe Wax, who engineered and co-produced the record with the band.

Recording close to home— at Brooklyn’s Figure 8 Studios— grounded the band, and their process was enriched by working closely with Wax, whose intuition and attention to detail made the familiar unfamiliar and allowed the band to reshape their own contexts. On opener “Moonsea,” an unaccompanied Greta begins, “The world is crumbling and I don’t have much to say.” Take that as a wink and a metonym for the whole album, as her signature vocals are joined by Alex’s ascending bassline and Lauren’s eddying synths, invoking a loungey take on Broadcast or Stereolab’s space-disco experimental pop. There’s much more than “not much” to say here, and it's augmented and expanded by experimentation with synth patches, textures, and other recording nuances courtesy of Wax.

As the lineup has solidified into the most permanent expression of full-band Frankie Cosmos, the bandmates have felt more comfortable deviating from their default instruments and contributing bigger-picture ideas to continue pushing the sound forward. The synergy of its creation is clear upon listening: the multiple hands dipping and re-dipping into each song form a multifaceted whole. The band’s closeness and aesthetic consistency freed its members to take more musically-formal risks, notes Luke: "Everything will sound like Frankie Cosmos because Greta has such a distinct voice (literally and figuratively). We have so much latitude to experiment with the instrumental music, and this time around we really took advantage of that."

The album forms its own vortex of reinvention that’s embodied through both the tracks themselves and the recording and arranging processes. “A Joke” curls in on itself, in word and in deed, a series of undercuts defining negative space: “It’s just a joke I wasn’t trying to tell;” “It wasn’t really a game;” “I do not know what I am for/I wasn’t really keeping score.” Inverting technology’s human mimicry, Luke impersonates a drum machine until the song’s end. “A Joke’s” tricks scratch at something bigger, a small song embodying the laughability of attempting to neatly organize or adhere to any particular role.

“Rings of a Tree” frees itself from its original context: released earlier this year on Greta’s solo piano album Haunted Items, she didn’t initially anticipate a major deviation; then, Luke says, “Lauren and I had the same arrangement idea without talking about it. Like, ‘let’s make this song funky. Let’s channel Orange Juice.’ We texted Greta and Alex before practice and Alex came in with a new guitar part that perfectly captured what Lauren and I heard in our heads.”

“I’m just fucking glad for my bubble/despite how often it is penetrated by evil” Greta sings on “Last Season’s Textures,” taking to task the accusation that young people cloister themselves in complacency: she’s quick to point to, thank, and feel suspicious of that sphere all at once. The song explores the feeling of safety in her realm; reasonable despair re: reality (“the news is excruciating”); and a quick admission that darkness isn’t something a liberal-minded social network can block out. Kline notes how the song is “partly about misogyny and internalized misogyny--moments where I've felt betrayed by what is meant to be a safe space.”

Without losing any intimacy of prior albums, Close it Quietly is different, is outer. The album functions as a benign doppelganger, a shadow self of past releases; where other Frankie Cosmos records shine brightest looking inward, Close it Quietly refracts the self into the world, and vice versa, miraculously echoing Thoreau’s assertion that “when I reflect, I find that there is other than me.”

Reflection--and refraction--isn’t tidy. “Flowers don’t grow/in an organized way/why should I?” Greta sings on “A Joke.” Growth isn’t linear. Change happens in circles. While recording the album, Alex says, “I closed my eyes a lot.” Stand in the sun, listen to Close it Quietly, and do the same.

Singer/Songwriter from Massachusetts.

Christina Schneider is back with a futuristic palette of electronic drums, funky bass lines, and quietly hyperactive chord progressions that are sure to impress even the most learned musical millennial. Locate S,1 is the result of a seasoned songwriter cum lo-fi home-recorder delving into the world of mid-fi pop, with results that are pleasantly difficult to define. U.S. Maple / Dead Rider's Todd Rittman could only describe her songs as having "too many chords to be pop, too catchy to be anything else." Behind Christina's deceptively soft vocals, Schneider's lyrics seem to always circle back to an examination of the disparity between her own will and what people expect of her-ultimately unveiling a hidden well of self-confidence and power. As the final track puts it, “it's better if they don't believe in you / then you can show them what you can do.” Be warned, Schneider and her band can do a lot: in fact, Locate S,1 is a technical tour-de-force that extrapolates high-brow jazz harmonics and prog-rock time signatures into a whole menagerie of new forms-all while still passing as pop. During a tour together last autumn, Deerhoof's John Dieterich wrote, "Such incredible musicians, and the songs are these perfectly constructed little jewels that feel like they've been around for thousands of years." (Tidal) Recorded in Athens, GA with the production and accessory input of Kevin Barnes (of Montreal), plus a wrecking crew of some of the Georgia's most practiced, each song on Locate S,1 really is a gem, layered with facet after facet of shimmering ear candy. A polished statement from a songwriter who is truly in a class of her own.

$20.00

Tickets

Due to the temporary closing of PhilaMOCA, we have moved the FRANKIE COSMOS show to Boot & Saddle. All previously purchased tickets will be honored. Same date! Still ALL AGES! However, the show has been moved up in order to accommodate those under 21. Doors will now be at 2pm, with the show starting at 2:15 and ending around 5pm. If you can not make the new time, please let us know and we will refund your tickets.

Who’s Going

Upcoming Events
Boot and Saddle