Frankie Cosmos - Vessel review: a relatable sense of self-doubt and trepidation

Fri, Mar 30, 2018, 05:00

   
 

Album:
Vessel

Artist:
Frankie Cosmos

Label:
Sub Pop

Genre:
Alternative

You know Frankie Cosmos from that stack of VHS tapes that used to gather dust on your livingroom floor. Translation: the singer-songwriter (real name Greta Kline) writes short guitar songs that feel like scenes lifted from throwback teenage dramedies – the ones chocked full of boy-meets-girl awkwardness, nerdy malaise and slacker philosophy.

With just 34 minutes to cover 18 tracks, the choppy Vessel deals out its vignettes rapidly. Apathy depicts the internal sorrow felt when a relationship is withering, while the 30-second My Phone captures the goofiness of young love.

Kline’s twee vocal style paired with the minimal arrangements – usually built around a soberly strummed electric guitar – brings a relatable sense of self-doubt and trepidation to every song she sings.

Yet Vessel feels a little like the less achieving younger sibling of Kline’s 2016 record Next Thing – it’s similar, just not as consistently great. You’ve probably heard every chord progression here 100 times before. And with some of her early electro-pop numbers still among Kline’s best work, I do wish she’d rescued her synths from the garage to help keep things moving.

Still, every song here packed with at least one interesting idea. Don’t sleep on Frankie Cosmos – she’ll almost certainly make new classics in the future.