On September 6th, Sub Pop will release Frankie Cosmos’ fourth studio album, Close It Quietly. This album 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. Close It Quietly is a continual reframing of the known, taking the band’s trademark micro-universe and upending 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.
The synergy of its collaboration is clear upon listening to the debut offering “Windows.” “This song takes place during the waiting period of healing, not knowing how to proceed or how to find the path to forgiveness. The inner versus the outer- learning to see yourself as part of the whole. For me the lyrics cover some of the slow movements of relationships, the shifts that occur in ways of thinking over time,” says frontperson Greta Kline. You can watch the new video for “Windows” which was directed by Eliza Doyle and Greta Kline above, and also here.
Frankie Cosmos has announced a World Tour, splitting these shows into three legs. The first leg of dates will begin on September 18 in Boston, MA, and end on Sep. 29 in their hometown of New York City. They will then head overseas beginning on Oct. 8th in Munich, Germany with shows in Prague, Amsterdam, and Paris, ending on Oct. 22nd in London. The final leg of dates will run from Oct 31st - Nov 16th with shows in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Berkeley. See below for a full list of shows.
Close It Quietly is now available for preorder from Sub Pop. LP preorders of the album through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America, UK, and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on blue pearlescent (North America) and opaque yellow (UK/EU) while supplies last.
Close It Quietly
2. Cosmic Shop
4. So Blue
5. A Joke
6. Rings (On A Tree)
7. Actin’ Weird
9. Never Would
12. I’m It
13. Trunk Of A Tree
14. Last Season’s Textures
15. Even Though I Knew
18. Did You Find
19. A Hit
20. With Great Purpose
21. This Swirling
Frankie Cosmos Tour dates:
Sep. 18 - Boston, MA - Royale
Sep. 19 - Burlington, VT - Arts Riot
Sep. 20 - Montreal, QC - L’Astral
Sep. 21 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
Sep. 22 - Detroit, MI - Deluxx Fluxx
Sep. 23 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
Sep. 25 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups
Sep. 26 - Pittsburgh, PA - Spirit Hall
Sep. 27 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
Sep. 28 - Philadelphia, PA - PhilaMOCA
Sep. 29 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
Oct. 08 - Munich, DE - Heppel & Ettlich
Oct. 09 - Vienna, AT - Chelsea
Oct. 10 - Prague, CZ - Underdogs’
Oct. 11 - Cologne, DE - MTC
Oct. 12 - Luxembourg, LU - Rotondes
Oct. 13 - Amsterdam, NL - Bitterzoet
Oct. 14 - Paris, FR - Badaboum
Oct. 15 - Reims, FR - La Cartonnerie
Oct. 16 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt
Oct. 17 - Bristol, UK - Exchange
Oct. 19 - Leeds, UK - Belgrave Music Hall
Oct. 20 - Sheffield, UK - Delicious Clam
Oct. 21 - Manchester, UK - Night & Day
Oct. 22 - London, UK - Islington Assembly Hall
Oct. 31 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
Nov. 01 - Tacoma, WA - Alma Mater
Nov. 02 - Vancouver, BC - Hollywood Theatre
Nov. 03 - Seattle, WA - Laser Dome @ Pacific Science Center
Nov. 07 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
Nov. 08 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
Nov. 10 - Tucson, AZ - Hotel Congress
Nov. 12 - Anaheim, CA - Chain Reaction
Nov. 13 - San Diego, CA - Che Cafe
Nov. 15 - Los Angeles, CA - 1720
Nov. 16 - Berkeley, CA - The UC Theatre
[Photo credit: Jackie Lee Young]
More About Frankie Cosmos and ‘Close it Quietly’:
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 indeed, 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.