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Frankie Cosmos Vessel Sub Pop

A new Frankie Cosmos album can feel like picking up a lost thread of conversation. The band’s founder and leader Greta Kline is prolific – over the last six years she’s released 52 projects – and Vessel is the third studio album from Frankie Cosmos. Kline’s short songs, often seizing on one concept for under two minutes before moving on, have the effect of a meandering night in, drinking wine and batting back-and-forth ideas, circling around to the same topics but loving the detours.

Frankie Cosmos’ bedroom indie sound remains similar to 2016’s Next Thing album and it’s easy to find Vessel a continuation of a vibe rather than something entirely new. But when you’re doing the quiet, certain loneliness as Kline does so well, why bother mixing it up?

With Vessel comfort and anxiety track along side by side. The 30 second track My Phone feels like a 60s love song reimagined in the social media era, with Kline crooning sweetly, “Throw my phone out/ I know you’d be around/ you’re easy to be found/ I’m easy to be found”. It’s swiftly followed by Cafeteria, where Kline frets and backtracks: “I never look back/ It only hurts my head… Okay sometimes I look/ But only for a sec”.

Greta Kline’s world is one of both grand potential and self-limitation. “And I knew,” she sings on excellent lead single Jesse, “if I thought really hard about flying/ I could probably do it/ I’m just too tired for trying.” Nothing is ever easy in Frankie Cosmos territory; nothing, as she sings on the title track, comes natural. Kline has a keen, quick grip on the back-and-forth of modern uncertainty, swinging high from triumph to low-lit sorrow. It’s why she’s such a comfort to return to, keeping you company in the long nights, laughing with you again in the morning over breakfast.