Frankie Cosmos’s music immerses the listener into the mind of the quiet girl in the corner — introspective and just as uncertain as everyone else. It was one of the most refreshing experiences to see her perform live this past Sunday.
For an unsuspecting audience member, the Sunday night crowd at El Club gave away the music soon to fill the room. Consisting almost entirely of alternative 20-year-olds, the crowd waited for the music that resonates with so many.
From lyrics such as: “Do I belong?” to a reflection on “being alive,” Greta Kline, the lead singer, embraces coming-of-age (and already being of-age) anxieties. She is a contemporary poet. Through her witty, emotionally raw and, at times ridiculous, lyrics, Frankie Cosmos reveals that she is far from having it figured it out. Her music, however, says otherwise.
For the entire first song, Kline sang with her eyes shut tightly, as though she was singing solely to herself. Her voice reflects her personality; it’s by no means flashy or traditionally impressive, yet her style meshes so well with the band’s style that the music as a whole is remarkable.
With a voice that works so well with the music, the occasional parts sung by her bandmates were lacking. They felt forced and unnatural; the other band members struggled to exude Kline’s tone and charming personality. On the other hand, perfectly placed vocal harmonies added an unexpected depth and beauty.
With two female-led bands opening for Frankie Cosmos, the programming of the night might have considered the listener a bit more carefully. After Stef Chura, the second band, my ears were wearing from the nearly constant sound mass of heavy guitar chords and drums. However, Frankie Cosmos had such an original sound that, as they began their performance, my ears were revitalized.
Frankie Cosmos balances sound and genre so well that it is nearly impossible to get tired of the music. Kline’s songs often push forward with heavy guitar chords, a driving bass line and loud drums, only to drop out and leave just Kline’s voice, or a sweet melodic turnaround on keyboard. Charming intricacies are what draw me most to Frankie Cosmos’s music. In these, one can find character and novelty. Beyond the songs themselves, her set was artistically created, never pairing two songs back to back that would tire the listener.
While bands often lose the energy of first album tours, Frankie Cosmos maintained the excitement on yet another tour. They were well-rehearsed, compelling and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Despite Frankie Cosmos’s rising fame and considerable fan base, the performance was incredibly personal. Rather than a star on stage and an awe-struck audience, it was just a room full of people listening. The concert was refreshing in many ways. With so many tiring and loud voices from day-to-day, to hear the soft-spoken girl and to see her be embraced was healing.