News: NEWS

NEWS : FRI, JUL 12, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey’s Self-Titled Album Is Out Today, July 12th

Kylecraft 2019 promo 02 peterkaraviaw 1500x2100 300

★★★★ - MOJO

“Like the best classic albums, its pleasures run deep.” - Pop Matters

“Like a cocaine-fuelled jam between David Bowie, John Lennon and Leon Russell, the Louisiana-bred, Portland-based rocker would’ve played Max’s Kansas City” [8/10] - Uncut

Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey’s new full-length Showboat Honey is out today July 12th, 2019 worldwide from Sub Pop. The album, which features the singles & official videos for “Broken Mirror Pose,” “2 Ugly 4 NY,” and “Deathwish Blue,” was recorded and produced by Kyle Craft, Kevin Clark, and Billy Slater at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. The album was mixed by Trevor Spencer and mastered by April Golden at Golden Mastering. Stream it now on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music.


Showboat Honey is available through Sub Pop Mega Mart. Purchases of the LP through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America, the UK and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on a clear blue translucent mix with spots red hi-melt (while supplies last).  There is also a new T-shirt design available.


Kyle Craft and Showboat Honey Tour Dates + Ticket Links

Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey’s previously announced headlining dates for 2019 in support of the album resume tonight, July 12th in Seattle with an in-store at Easy Street Records, and currently end on August 24th in San Francisco at Cafe Du Nord.

Jul. 12 - Seattle, WA - Easy Street Records instore
Jul. 13 - Seattle, WA - Ballard Seafood Fest
Jul. 14 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett
Jul. 15 - Billings, MT - Pub Station Taproom
Jul. 17 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
Jul. 18 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
Jul. 19 - Louisville, KY - Jimmy Can’t Dance
Jul. 20 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
Jul. 22 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
Jul. 23 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse
Jul. 24 - Allston, MA - Great Scott
Jul. 26 - Newport, RI - Newport Folk (Museum Stage)
Jul. 30 - Woodstock, NY - Colony
Aug. 01 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right
Aug. 02 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
Aug. 04 - Washington, DC - Pearl Street Warehouse
Aug. 05 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
Aug. 06 - Athens, GA - Georgia Theater Rooftop
Aug. 07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
Aug. 08 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn
Aug. 09 - Nashville, TN - The Basement
Aug. 10 - Oxford, MS - Proud Larry’s
Aug. 11 - New Orleans, LA - One-Eyed Jacks
Aug. 14 - Shreveport, LA - Minicine
Aug. 15 - Dallas, TX - Three Links
Aug. 16 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
Aug. 18 - Phoenix, AZ - The Valley Bar
Aug. 19 - Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole
Aug. 22 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
Aug. 23 - Los Angeles, CA - The Moroccan
Aug. 24 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe Du Nord

What “The People” are saying about Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey:

“Kyle Craft and his backing band Showboat Honey provide a glam-tastic Bowie-esque joyride, full of meaty Stones riffs and sprinkled with caustic soda lyrics that a true Dylan devotee has processed and posted from the heart.” [4/5]- NARC

“The result is a cohesive set of tracks centered around a rough patch that hit at the same time as Craft was falling in love…Fans of his glam rock-influenced sound will find plenty to latch onto.” - Billboard

“Having been the darling of the moment when his solo debut was first released, Craft clearly shows that he has more to offer than just being that guy with wild hair that sounds like someone else. He has a range and depth that is showcased beautifully on this new album, his third on Sub Pop, and first as Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey. “ - Eleven PDX

“On the track, his typically wailing voice is stunted by almost spoken-word verses that ride along with a slow-rolling piano progression. It’s a suspense-building element that pays off when the song eventually crashes into a wave of horns, electric guitars and sheer swagger.” [“Broken Mirror Pose”/ Heavy Rotation] - World Cafe

“A glammy, ’70s style anthem with a soaring chorus.”  [“Broken Mirror Pose”] - Brooklyn Vegan

“Craft, whose lyrics and electric guitar hooks have drawn comparisons to Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, is no stranger to vintage sounds.” [“Broken Mirror Pose”] - PASTE

“Craft has brought his signature twang into a more Raconteurs-esque world with his latest release.” [2 Ugly 4 NY] - Alt Citizen


[Photo credit: Peter Karaviaw]


NEWS : FRI, JUL 12, 2019 at 7:00 AM

METZ 12 Single Collection ‘Automat’ is Out In Stores Today, July 12th

Metz automat 2400

METZ, our own widely-adored and delightfully noisy 3-piece punk band from Toronto, released their Sub Pop self-titled debut in 2012 and, in the time since, have cemented their reputation as one of the planet’s most exhilarating live acts and trusted providers of bombastic outsider rock. The band is made up of Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies, and Chris Slorach. 

Automat is a collection of METZ non-album singles, B-sides, and rarities dating back to 2009, available here on LP for the first time, and including the band’s long out-of-print early (pre-Sub Pop) recordings. A chronological trip through the lesser known material of METZ, Automat is out now, worldwide on Sub Pop.
 
The band’s Alex Edkins shares, “The idea to release Automat came after realizing our early 7” singles were being sold online for upwards of $60 bucks a pop. We wanted to make those songs available and affordable to anyone who might want them in the physical format. What started as reissuing a couple of 45s, quickly morphed into an entire LP, compiling rarities, demos and alternate takes from over the years.”


Consumers of the vinyl format of Automat will be rewarded with a bonus single that includes three additional tracks: a cover of Sparklehorse’s “Pig,” from a very limited 2012 Record Store Day split single originally released by Toronto’s Sonic Boom record shop; “I’m a Bug,” a cover of The Urinals’ art-punk classic, originally released on YouTube (not an actual record label) in 2014; and METZ’s previously unreleased rendition of Gary Numan’s “M.E.”

METZ are currently hard at work on their 4th full-length LP which will be released on Sub Pop when we are all damn good and ready.
 
All tracks on Automat have been lovingly remastered by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Mastering Service.


NEWS : THU, JUL 11, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Watch Marika Hackman’s Official Video For “the one” From ‘Any Human Friend’ (out Aug. 9th)

Marika Hackman unveils the video for latest single “the one,” directed by Louis Bhose (Michael Kiwanuka, Lewis Capaldi, Loyle Carner). “the one” is the second single from Marika’s forthcoming third album Any Human Friend, out August 9th from Sub Pop in North and South America and AMF Records for the rest of the world. 
 
Marika says of “the one” it “is probably the poppiest song I’ve ever written. I loved the idea of inhabiting this ridiculous arrogant rock star character who has totally fucked their career by writing too many sad songs.” The video for “the one” sees Marika’s rock star alter-ego come to life within a photocopier. By the end of the video, Marika is repulsed by the augmented reality she has created, she takes a baseball bat to it and destroys it forever. 
 
Director Louis Bhose reflects on the process of the video’s conception:
 
Marika: “I want to do a performance vid in a photocopier, where the imagined rockstar in me performs with gusto as the mediocre, let-down version of me watches.” 
Hack Video Director: “Say no more.”
 
Displaying an unapologetic attitude and a more liberated sound than ever before, “the one” has been co-produced by David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, Let’s Eat Grandma) and Marika herself. “the one” shows why Marika is fast turning herself into one of the most exciting songwriters of her time. Layered synthesizers make this the album’s most unexpected musical turn, alongside Marika’s signature new wave guitar fretwork and Blondie style delivery, she’s never sounded as widescreen.

Marika Hackman Tour Dates

Having recently teased new music at the BBC 6 Music Festival, The Great Escape, All Points East, and Field Day, Marika is gearing up for an exciting year of touring. Tickets for headline tour dates available from marikahackman.com.
 
Aug.15 - Beacon Breacons, UK - Green Man Festival
Sep. 21 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
Sep. 23 - Glasgow, UK - Oran Mor
Sep. 24 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
Sep. 25 - Manchester, UK - Band On The Wall 
Sep. 26 - London, UK - Islington Assembly Hall
Oct. 11 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
Oct. 12 - Durham, NC - The Pinhook
Oct. 13 - Washington, DC - U Street Music Hall
Oct. 14 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
Oct. 15 - Brooklyn, NY - Elsewhere
Oct. 18 - Allston, MA - Great Scott
Oct. 19 - Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall
Oct. 20 - Montréal, QC - Bar Le ‘Ritz’ P.D.B.
Oct. 21 - Toronto, ON- The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
Oct. 23 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups
Oct. 24 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig
Oct. 25 - Chicago, IL- Sleeping Village
Oct. 26 - Milwaukee, WI - Back Room at Colectivo Coffee
Oct. 28 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
Nov. 01 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
Nov. 04 - Oakland, CA - Starline Social Club
Nov. 06 - West Hollywood, CA - The Roxy Theatre



Any Human Friend

Any Human Friend was co-produced by David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, Let’s Eat Grandma) and Marika herself, and shows off a sharper and more liberated sound than ever before. Now available for preorder from Sub Pop: LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on Salmon-colored vinyl (while supplies last). There will also be a new t-shirt design available.

Cover art photography by Joost Vandebrug, inspired by Rineke Dijkstra. Read more about it here.



NEWS : THU, JUN 20, 2019 at 6:57 AM

Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s New Album ‘A Tuba To Cuba’ Is Out June 28th. Now Hear Track “Keep Your Head Up”

Preservation Hall Jazz Band has announced the release of their new album A Tuba To Cuba, the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed documentary directed by T.G. Herrington and Danny Clinch, out June 28, 2019 via Sub Pop. Today, they have released the track “Keep Your Head Up” from the album. Listen and share “Keep Your Head Up” here and pre-order A Tuba to Cuba here.

“We are so proud and honored to share a project we’ve poured so much of ourselves into,” says Ben Jaffe. “The impact visiting Cuba had on us will live with us both individually and as a band forever. We’re still absorbing everything we experienced.”

“We went to Cuba in prayer position,” says Preservation Hall band leader and bass player Ben Jaffe when he speaks of the pilgrimage he and the group took to Cuba in December 2015. “We went to receive an offer at the same time. We had never experienced a moment like this, it felt as though all roads were intersecting at once.” The critically acclaimed 2019 documentary A Tuba to Cuba documented the band’s journey as they explored the links that connect New Orleans and Cuba so indelibly – their shared, tragic history as destinations where enslaved Africans struggled to simply survive, and their current status as places where the cultural inheritance from those ancestors is kept alive in both song and deed – but that was only half the story. This collection of songs, a musical account of a generations-in-the-making reunion of musical families separated by time, politics, and distance, tells the other half.

When asked to describe the collection of songs assembled on Tuba to Cuba, Jaffe sums it up by saying, “It’s like listening to the radio.”  And yes, A Tuba to Cuba actually feels less like an ordinary soundtrack and more like a living document, a recording of a broadcast that’s been waiting to exist, a modern version of the static-y radio signals that were broadcast between America to the Caribbean in the early and mid-20th century, sending the sounds of jazz and mambo and R&B and more back and forth across the vast divides of water and culture and politics. It’s a story, this album, and the tale being told mirrors the band’s experience.

The resulting collection of songs is what Jaffe describes as “a beautiful conversation.” The music of A Tuba to Cuba is an ecstatic expression of that ongoing conversation, a restless and lush trip up and down strange FM wavelengths bridging thousands of miles and hundreds of years, where all involved are talking with each other and over each other in excitement, charged with the thrill of recognition of the evidence of their shared familial roots, an undeniable kinship rooted in bloodlines, rhythm, and melody.


A Tuba To Cuba 
Tracklisting:

1. Yesteryear
2. Tumba
3. I Am
4. Descarga del Son
5. Keep Your Head Up
6. Corazon
7. Elegguà
8. Kreyol
9. El Manicero
10. Solitude
11. Las Palomas
12. Malecón


[Photo credit: Josh Goleman

Preservation Hall Jazz Band Tour Dates:

Jul. 05 - Elkhorn, WI - Alpine Valley Music Theatre* 
Jul. 06 - Elkhorn, WI -  Alpine Valley Music Theatre* 
Jul. 28 - Newport, RI - Newport Folk Festival
Aug. 02 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon
Aug. 03 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon 
Aug. 05 - Folsom, CA - Harris Center For The Arts
Aug. 06 - Folsom, CA - Harris Center For The Arts
Aug. 08 - San Francisco, CA - SFJAZZ
Aug. 09  - San Francisco, CA - SFJAZZ 
Aug. 10 - San Francisco, CA - SFJAZZ (7:00PM)
Aug. 10 - San Francisco, CA - SFJAZZ (9:30PM)
Aug. 11 - San Francisco, CA - SF Jazz Center - Miner Auditorium
Aug. 15 - Philadelphia, PA - Old Pool Farm
Aug. 16 - Philadelphia, PA - Old Pool Farm
Aug. 17 - Philadelphia, PA - Old Pool Farm
Aug. 18 - Philadelphia, PA - Old Pool Farm
Aug. 24 - Arrington, VA - Lockn’ Music Festival 
Sep. 20 - Louisville, KY - Bourbon & Beyond Festival
Sep. 21 - Franklin, TN - Pilgrimage Music Festival
Sep. 22 - Franklin, TN - Pilgrimage Music Festival
Oct 22 - Ridgefield, CT - The Ridgefield Playhouse
Oct 23 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre
Oct 24 - New York, NY - Town Hall Theatre
Oct 25 - Boston, MA - Berklee Performance Center
Oct 26 - Portsmouth, NH - The Music Hall
Oct 28 - Montreal, QC - Place des Arts - Theatre
Oct 29 - Toronto, ON - Roy Thomson Hall  
Oct 30 - Pittsburgh, PA - Byham Theatre
Nov 01 - Kent, OH - The Kent Stage
Nov 02 - Goshen, IN - Goshen College Music Center
Nov 04 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
Nov 05 - Saint Paul, MN - Fitzgerald Theatre
Nov 07 - Denver, CO - Paramount Theatre
Nov 09 - Phoenix, AZ - Music Theater at the Musical Instrument Museum
Nov 11 - Livermore, CA - Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center
Nov 13 - Chico, CA - California State University Chico - Laxson Auditorium
Nov 15 - Santa Rosa, CA - Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
Nov 16 - Arcata, CA - John Van Duzer Theatre  
Nov 17 - Portland, OR - Revolution Hall
Nov 18 - Seattle, WA - Benaroya Hall – Taper Auditorium
Nov 20 - Santa Cruz, CA - Rio Theatre
Nov 21 - Santa Barbara, CA - UCSB Campbell Hall
Nov 22 - San Diego, CA - Wonderfront Music Festival
Nov 23 - Cerritos, CA - Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
Nov. 29 - Baltimore, MD - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Nov. 30 - Baltimore, MD - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Dec. 01 - Baltimore, MD - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

*with Dave Matthews Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band Links:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram


NEWS : WED, JUN 19, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey Share Official Video for “Deathwish Blue” From Their Forthcoming Album ‘Showboat Honey’ - Billboard Premiere

Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey has shared a very sweet video for “Deathwish Blue,” a highlight from Showboat Honey, the group’s forthcoming album, out July 12th worldwide from Sub Pop and directed by Eleanor Petry (see Billboard interview June 19th).
 
Craft had this to say of the visual, “I can’t dance and my fiancée Lydia isn’t the biggest fan of it either…we’d actually never danced together before the shoot. We wanted to have fun and aim for a Pulp Fiction vibe. So, I just slicked back the mop, cranked Spirit in the Sky over the bar speakers, and we went for it.”


Kyle Craft and Showboat Honey Tour Dates + Ticket Links

Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey’s previously announced headlining dates for 2019 in support of the album begin July 11th in Portland at Mississippi Studios and currently end on August 24th in San Francisco at Cafe Du Nord.

Jul. 11 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
Jul. 13 - Seattle, WA - Ballard Seafood Fest
Jul. 14 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett
Jul. 15 - Billings, MT - Pub Station Taproom
Jul. 17 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
Jul. 18 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
Jul. 19 - Louisville, KY - Jimmy Can’t Dance
Jul. 20 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
Jul. 22 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
Jul. 23 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse
Jul. 24 - Allston, MA - Great Scott
Jul. 26 - Newport, RI - Newport Folk (Museum Stage)
Jul. 30 - Woodstock, NY - Colony
Aug. 01 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right
Aug. 02 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
Aug. 04 - Washington, DC - Pearl Street Warehouse
Aug. 05 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
Aug. 06 - Athens, GA - Georgia Theater Rooftop
Aug. 07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
Aug. 08 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn
Aug. 09 - Nashville, TN - The Basement
Aug. 10 - Oxford, MS - Proud Larry’s
Aug. 11 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
Aug. 14 - Shreveport, LA - Minicine
Aug. 15 - Dallas, TX - Three Links
Aug. 16 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
Aug. 18 - Phoenix, AZ - The Valley Bar
Aug. 19 - Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole
Aug. 22 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
Aug. 23 - Los Angeles, CA - The Moroccan
Aug. 24 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe Du Nord


 
Showboat Honey was recorded and produced by Kyle Craft, Kevin Clark, and Billy Slater at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. The album was mixed by Trevor Spencer and mastered by April Golden at Golden Mastering.
 
Showboat Honey is now available for preorder through Sub Pop Mega Mart. Preorders of the LP through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America, the UK and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on a clear blue translucent mix with spots red hi-melt (while supplies last).  There will also be a new T-shirt design available.


NEWS : TUE, JUN 18, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Frankie Cosmos to Release ‘Close It Quietly’ Worldwide on September 6th. Now Watch The New Video for Lead Single “Windows”

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
Tracklisting:

1. Moonsea
2. Cosmic Shop
3. 41st
4. So Blue
5. A Joke
6. Rings (On A Tree)
7. Actin’ Weird
8. Windows
9. Never Would
10. Self-destruct
11. Wannago
12. I’m It
13. Trunk Of A Tree
14. Last Season’s Textures
15. Even Though I Knew
16. UFO
17. Marbles
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.