Originally the solo project of prolific New York City-based songwriter Greta Kline, Frankie Cosmos has blossomed into a four-piece band including David Maine, Lauren Martin, and Luke Pyenson.
The first studio release as Frankie Cosmos, Zentropy (Double Double Whammy), garnered wide acclaim upon its release, including New York magazine’s #1 Pop Album of 2014 and a Pitchfork Best New Track for “Birthday Song.” Recorded as a two-piece with Aaron Maine on drums, Frankie Cosmos began performing live as a three-piece with Aaron’s brother David on bass, and later as a four-piece with Gabrielle Smith on keyboard. The next studio release, 2015’s Fit Me In EP (Bayonet), combined Kline’s honest, lyrically-driven songwriting with Maine’s affinity for synth-driven production, and earned the project another Best New Track for “Young.” Lauren and Luke joined the group in late 2015 on keyboard and drums, leaving Gabrielle and Aaron to pursue their personal projects—Eskimeaux and Porches—and cementing the band’s current lineup.
The group’s most recent release is the critically-lauded Next Thing (2016, Bayonet), which has been praised for memorable lyrics that are both clever and concise, deeply personal and widely relatable; beautiful three-part vocal harmonies that enhance catchy pop melodies; and increasingly sophisticated instrumental arrangements that reflect a rapidly maturing band continuing to grow. The album received a coveted Best New Music designation from Pitchfork as well as exceptional reviews from the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and others. The band’s live show, honed during extensive touring of North America, Europe, Oceania and Japan, has also received glowing feedback for its mix of energy, intimacy and levity.
In their off-time, the bandmates of Frankie Cosmos practice a variety of other jobs and hobbies including textile design, food journalism, massage therapy, cooking, mixed martial arts, reading, painting, and petting dogs.
There’s an innately youthful feeling on “Tilt-A-Whirl,” the lead single from LA-based band Alyeska’s debut EP Crush — a fresh, untouched quality, like that of newly fallen snow. That’s its only connection to winter, though, as the song is filled with summer imagery bound to cause pangs of nostalgia. A jumpy bassline leads vocalist and guitarist Alaska Reid into a sort of conversation with a boy, telling him to speak now or never if he’s really got a crush. Lightweight guitars and mentions of the county fair and summer sky set the stage for the starry-eyed chorus,”think about me while we’re young.” Reid shared some background on the track:
“Tilt-A-Whirl” is an ode to the small county fair in my town. My friends and I would look forward to going every year, we’d see boys we had crushes on, and scream about the creepy carnies or the way your feet turned black with dirt in your yellow flip flops. We would giggle uncomfortably at the porno posters the carnies hung in their booths and the rotting state of their teeth. And then there were the rides — The Zipper, The Hurricane and my favorite, the Tilt-A-Whirl. The dirt in the midway was pocked with pools of vomit and discarded glow sticks and the carnies would spray you with giant squirt guns, trying to lure you into playing their game.… It was sort of a running joke, that it was your “coming of age” if you got squirted in the chest by the carnies. I just wanted to convey the sparkle and the excitement of when I was young against the neon glow of the county fair as well as the grit and the darkness lurking around the edges. Listen to “Tilt-A-Whirl” below, and check out last year’s single “EverGlow” if you missed it.
Crush is out 3/3 and was produced by indie rock veteran John Agnello. According to Alyeska’s publicist, it was the last thing recorded at the Magic Shop, the NYC recording studio where David Bowie did Blackstar and Arcade Fire recorded The Suburbs.
by Kim Ilkowski