By Jolie Klefeker
The world is coming to life once again after a long, grey winter. The same can be said about music: After the typical slow, release season, new music is flooding in and there's a ton of exciting stuff. This week features two standout records from old favorites Frankie Cosmos and The Voidz.
Greta Kline aka Frankie Cosmos has been shaking up the indie singer/songwriter genre for a while now. Her music is deceptively complex, pairing almost over-used chord progressions with subtle melodic flourishes, deeply poetic lyrics centered around the seemingly empty. There's something off about Kline's songwriting, and that's what makes it magical. Recurring motifs of insecurity, heartbreak, friendship and her dead dog JoJo are peppered throughout her latest, "Vessel." Her third studio album, this record is the bittersweet, slightly jaded, cluelessly naive, edgy older sister to 2016's "Next Thing." It's still Frankie Cosmos, but this record is far more mature, diving deeper into moments of louder and faster, underproduction and intense vulnerability that we haven't heard before.
Frankie Cosmos is a modern poet for the shy, uncomfortable millennial age. She finds profound moments in banal ones and packages them into tiny indie-pop boxes, which we can find either deeply emotional or just catchy, take your pick. My favorite tracks are "As Often As I Can," "Bus Bus Train Train" and "Cafeteria." Frankie Cosmos is playing at the Fox Theatre in Boulder at 9 tonightwith Lomelda and Colorado's own Ashley Koett. Stop on by!
Julian Casablancas has never really taken that much of a break since the explosive, early 2000s success of The Strokes, but every time he releases something new, it feels so long awaited. Perhaps it's the hype, but I personally attribute it to songwriting. In his solo work and on this latest release with The Voidz, Casablancas seems to balance perfectly atop an extremely thin line that divides the indulgent replication of all successes past from the need to do something new. What I'm really saying is that The Voidz's latest record, "Virtue," maintains that balance, featuring some glorious bits of Strokes nostalgia and some delightfully new, weird bits as well.
The subdued, dreamy, distorted pop gem "Leave It In My Dreams" kicks off the album and is immediately contrasted by a slew of tracks featuring heavy electro-guitars and synths. Ultimately, the record has a sci-fi, dystopian, rock 'n' roll kind of feeling with the occasional toned-down, broken, pop-rock track thrown in. This record isn't particularly cohesive; it just kind of doesn't care. Indie-rock, new-wave, noise and hardcore all come together seamlessly because of the fact that this record really doesn't want to be seamless. It's a manic collection of psychedelic synth-punk that will both entice you and drive you away. "Virtue" is eccentric, freaky and totally refreshing. Give it a listen.