|Photo from Pitchfork by Sam Clarke|
Sunlight passing through a prism, creating a stretched rainbow across the floorboards. Waking up to an old pet cat purring on your face. Early morning family road trips past infinite power-poles and vast fields. Faded glow-in-the-dark stickers covering the ceiling in your old bedroom. Frankie Cosmos’ first studio album, Zentropy, is filled with a type of loneliness and sentimentality, particular to a shy, quirky young adult.
Despite suggested (and purposefully exaggerated) youthful naivety, Zentropy is by no means the result of a first endeavour into the world of songwriting. Frankie Cosmos is only one of a number of 19-year-old Greta Kline’s musical personas, and Zentropy is one release out of a prolific array of more than 40 album and EP releases on Bandcamp. But, in its way, this album is a definitive entry point.
Kline’s most recent project, Zentropy, is indie-pop grounded by the cumulative result of a three-piece drum set, electric guitar and Kimya Dawson-esque vocals and lyrics. It begins with a condemnation of art school then weaves into a childlike awe for a daddy who is a fireman. Then, in the sad, staccato sound of “Birthday Song” comes the dwellings on past romance with Kline singing “‘cause I get all flushed and ugly / Wonder how he ever loved me / I am so clumsy.” In the same song Kline’s message transforms into one of a two-sided rejection: “I hate everybody in this town so I walk around with my head down.” From this point, the sound drifts into Fleet Foxes-like vocal harmonies and builds with “Owen.” Further along, still more is revealed about Kline - she’s “the kind of girl buses splash with rain,” but also “crazy, I have no idea what I’m doing” in “I Do Too.” The album ends with “Sad 2” - a lament to a dead dog, which (as is the pattern within each of Kline’s songs) is both about a love for a pet and something more deep and ubiquitous.
Zentropy is sweet and confident. However, with its total play time only twenty minutes long, the brevity of Zentropy is noticeable. While each song has character, the listener’s encounter is short-lived allowing only an introduction, with perhaps the promise that later Frankie Cosmos releases will give more body to these slightly introspective personalities.
The Frankie Cosmos blog describes Frankie Cosmos as “the flower you should grow” and “the pride soldiers show when they are returning home from battle victorious.” Perhaps contradictory descriptions (with a darker humour bubbling beneath the surface), but Zentropy certainly lays down soil for a Cosmos garden that could grow in a range of different ways - what is so alluring is all the mystery that remains as to just what lies beneath.