Innocence and simplicity: Frankie Cosmos

Indie rock group Frankie Cosmos’ fresh performance in the CFAC Auditorium on September 28 was punctuated with the unique sugary-sweet harmonies of guitarist and lead vocalist Greta Kline and keyboardist and vocalist Lauren Martin; their short songs received cheers and whistling from the audience.  

Frankie Cosmos has a certain energy reminiscent of childhood wonder and first love, shown in the lyric “Oh darling, I want to give you all my marbles.” A couple times, a silence followed a very short song, as the audience didn’t expect it to be over so soon. As opposed to the typical three-minute complex song we might expect, but Frankie Cosmos says all they need to in as little as 30 seconds. The simplicity is childlike, in the best of ways.

Accentuating this childlike aura, an eclectic video collage played behind the band as they performed. This looping video was full of saturated color and movement. Marbles were played with in a tub while cut-out pictures floated on the swirling surface; hands messed with metallic foil and unraveled colorful yarn. Like those slime videos that get suggested on Instagram, the video was surreal, colorful and strangely magnetic. 

Just like in their new album, Close it Quietly, Frankie Cosmos’ tempo kept every song interesting, moving from fast, high-energy beats to slow-strummed introspection. Kline’s high, soft voice bubbled out of her, and the lyrics still sounded like they were written in a bedroom. 

The lyrics were often abstract, so their meaning was not immediately obvious, but this ambiguity played well with the quiet, sometimes mumbling singing that caused listeners to lean in. The audience sat in the first few rows, creating a very intimate atmosphere despite the cavernous auditorium.

Between songs, Kline joked about being the audience’s professor of music tours, explaining tours as, “We come to a place, then we play and leave and go to this place and now we’re here.” The statement echoed innocent simplicity consistent with the music Frankie Cosmos creates. 

For the Q+A afterwards, Kline came out and took questions, mediated by Student Activities Director Ken Heffner.  An audience member asked her where she bought her bright magenta and turquoise sneakers. Kline announced they were Adidas Falcons and her mother had bought a matching pair.

Kline then answered a more serious question about whether it was her responsibility as an artist to address political issues. Kline responded by saying that her band gives people an escape. “I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do but that’s what we do,” she said with a laugh. 

With their music, Frankie Cosmos provides an escape back to innocence and simplicity.