Coming out of the New York City DIY scene, lo-fi indie pop band Frankie Cosmos have devolved a fine line in memorable and catchy tales of the complexities of life. Mixing an upbeat and poppy sensibility with an air of unfamiliarity and sadness, they create anthems for the disenchanted but with an anthemic sense of hope interwoven into them which works so well.
Vessel is the bands first album for the seminal Sub Pop label (but their third studio album and the remarkable fifty first release from singer Greta Kline) and is eighteen tracks of ups and downs that will make the listener smile, think and above all, feel, the songs and their content.
Frankie Cosmos are led by Kline (daughter of respected actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates and an actress in her own right having previously starred in the film The Squid And The Whale) and her sublime vocals and lyrics of life experiences are aided by the lo-if sensibilities of the rest of the band, particularly bassist and fellow vocalist David Maine whose voice is a sublime counterpart to Klines while drummer Luke Pyenson and keyboardist vocalist Lauren Martin add in their own flourishes to the bands sound as well.
Vessel starts as it means to go on with the energetic Caramelize and that starts off the motion of the album that takes in many twists and turns along the way before ending wonderfully with the title track of the album itself.
Songs like Apathy, I’m Fried, Bus Bus Train Train and Jesse in particular stand out as being memorable but there is so much goodness on this record that it is hard to pick standouts and the album should really be listened to as a whole. Melancholia and euphoria unite throughout in harmonising fashion and despite the sometimes the more edgy and downhearted lyrics are usurped by the bands genuine lust for life.
3. As Often as I Can
4. This Stuff
8. I’m Fried
10. Ballad of R & J
11. Ur Up
12. Being Alive
13. Bus Bus Train Train
14. My Phone
16. The End
17. Same Thing
Vessel is a bittersweet ode to life and the relationships that are formed throughout in many ways (the downbeat Being Alive being a prime example of this) but always retains an overall positive vibe to it and despite the fact that there are an epic amount of tracks in the album, it flies by in a blur of musical goodness and is an album, first and foremost that will not fail to put the listener in a happy mood overall, although they will pass through a lot of other emotions as well.
FRANKIE COSMOS – Vessel released March 30th 2018 on Sub Pop
Words: Gavin Brown