Release Date: Mar 30, 2018
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
‘Vessel’ might only be Frankie Cosmos’ third studio album, but it is, in total, her 52nd release. That number might seem staggering, but for anyone familiar with her prolific stream of self-released bedroom recordings, it’s only a surprise that she hasn’t put out more. The project of New Yorker Greta Kline, Frankie Cosmos has grown substantially since 2012 (and the three years she spent operating as Ingrid Superstar and various other names before) from DIY project to, now, Sub Pop-signed underground hero.
While Frankie Cosmos architect Greta Kline had been touring with a backing band and recording with guest musicians for a few years before tracking 2018's Vessel, it's her first album to be released officially as a band. It's also the former bedroom project's debut for Sub Pop Records. These details seem to go hand in hand on Vessel, her most assertive-sounding set to date.
Towards the end of her third studio album, Vessel, Greta Kline articulates the philosophy of her current self in 13 words: "I wasn't built for this world/I had sex once, now I'm dead. " Kline has always written with an inspiring economy of language--such as on the 2012 collection much ado about fucking and the many elegies for her deceased dog, JoJo--which seems to honor the Yeats maxim that "sex and death are the only things that can interest a serious mind. " But she bests herself here, on the deceptively sunny "Cafeteria.
Greta Kline's musical persona Frankie Cosmos represents the friend you go to for comfort and reassurance; you know she empathizes with all of your highs and lows and has this way of drawing from them the basic existential observations that make you smile and exhale. The unassuming tunes that cradle this quality, performed by her and her band of the same name, reinforce that essence. On Vessel, the third studio album from Frankie Cosmos and the first that sounds like it took full advantage of the resources therein, the bare DIY charm of Zentropy and Next Thing has remained intact while the structure of its delivery has taken a step in elaboration.