Frankie Cosmos - Vessel - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Frankie Cosmos - Vessel

by Jim Cunnar Rating:9 Release Date:2018-03-30
Frankie Cosmos - Vessel
Frankie Cosmos - Vessel

Greta Kline is prolific, to say the least.  Vessel, the fourth album she’s released as bandleader of Frankie Cosmos, is actually her 52nd release since 2011. Considering Kline is only 23 years old, this should make you sit up and take notice. With that much product, it would seem natural for there to be bunches of filler, but Kline’s approach to music writing keeps her output incredibly fresh. Vessel, Frankie Cosmos’ first on indie stalwart label Sub Pop, is populated by 18 songs which provide brief and interesting peeks into Kline’s psyche.  

Growing up in New York City in a family of artists and performers and with an education that drew heavily from literature and music, it shouldn’t be surprising that Kline’s songs are like sonnets. Vessel, like its predecessors, is a collection of short stories, with Kline exploring all kinds of topics ranging from her subconscious to community accountability to buses and trains.  The majority of the songs are under two minutes, fitting with Kline’s penchant for writing songs like a stream of conscience.  

First single “Jesse”, “Accommodate” and “Being Alive” are highlights of the album, but penultimate song “Same Thing” peaks perfectly, opening with the lyric “Nothing is deserved, nothing is earned, like the pillows cold side”.  Backing musicians Alex Bailey (bass),  Luke Pyenson (drums) and Lauren Martin (keyboards) then build the song quickly to chorus, and before you blink, the song is over after a minute and thirty seconds. 

It’s not coincidence that opener “Caramelize” and closer “Vessel” are the longest songs on the album, both clocking in at exactly 3:28.  These are purposefully full songs, acting like the front and back of a hardcover book protecting the intimacy in between. 

Kline pines “Nothing comes natural, I don’t feel my body is a vessel” as Vessel comes to a close. This may be the only thing I disagree with Kline on.  She is definitely a natural, a genuine force in the anti-folk/indie rock movement, much like contemporaries Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings and Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest.  She gracefully opens her soul into her music, and this type of vulnerability makes whatever she creates, via Frankie Cosmos or another vehicle, eternally approachable.

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