PIAF: Frankie Cosmos Interview
Greta Kline, or to many, Frankie Cosmos, is an American musician that is on the cusp of arriving on our shores for Perth International Arts Festival. For those uninitiated, Frankie Cosmos thrives creating lo-fi, minimalist, DIY indie pop.
Despite being part of what has been come to be known as the anti-folk movement, Kline really doesn’t put much currency in genre. “I think that defining anything through a genre is kind of useless. I mean, I don’t really even know what anti-folk means really. I can tell you that it was this music movement in New York, but it doesn’t make much sense to me.”
This will be Kline’s first Australian tour, and apart from wanting to “Hold a koala at some point” she really doesn’t know what to expect from our shores, taking most of her perceptions from our “portrayal in media”. Although, despite being in unknown surroundings, Kline assured me that we would still be subject to her “same old rock show”. “You can expect some crying, me acting weird, some old songs and new stuff”
When asked about the unique, earnest simplicity of her lyricism, Kline admitted that she had to initially imitate in order to craft her style. “My first couple of songs were basically rip-offs, I took a lot of inspiration from other people. There are some parts of my lyricism that were a learned skill, but mostly it was an organic development”.
Thematically, Kline’s lyrics are overwhelmingly genuine, however there are specific moments that almost act as a window into her creative process. Id had always wondered about a point song in particular, “Outside with the Cuties”. “I was working on the end of the song, and I sung “I haven’t finished this song yet” as a joke, but as soon as I did it I just knew that should be the lyric.”
There’s a common misconception that Greta Kline’s actual name is actually Frankie Cosmos. Kline finds that this, and all her previous pseudonyms helps somewhat “protect Greta Kline”, going on to state that it helps her “separate myself from my stage persona, so while I like to put it all out there, it still does feel like I’m protected”. She went on to say that performing as Cosmos allows her a freedom to know that she can shed that name at any time and start again, if needed”.
A couple of the songs on Kline’s last release, Next Thing, were actually written quite a time ago, however the sentiment seems to last the test of time. “Yeah, I wrote some of those songs quite a while ago, and while I don’t feel the same way I did when I wrote them, I can relive those emotions at any time, so I wouldn’t say that they’ve really lost any meaning to me.”
Speaking of Next Thing, Frankie Cosmos is halfway through recording their next release, a smorgasbord of new songs and re-releases, which should be completed a some point in the coming months.
Catch Frankie Cosmosand Margaret Glaspy with support from Mosquito Coast at the Perth International Arts Festival on March 2nd. You can buy tickets to her show here.