Staff pick: Frankie Cosmos and the weird, crumbling world

Joel Oliphint
Frankie Cosmos

“The world is crumbling and I don't have much to say,” sings Frankie Cosmos’ Greta Kline in the very first line of “Moonsea,” the leadoff track on Close it Quietly, released earlier this month on Sub Pop. And while the decaying state of the world is tough to deny, Kline has more to say than she lets on in the album’s 21 tracks, only one of which clears the three-minute mark.

The album bio for Close it Quietly talks a lot about Frankie Cosmos experimenting and pushing its sound forward, and while there are some sonic stretches compared to previous releases, this record is quintessential Kline, who began posting her music to Bandcamp as a teen in New York. Since day one, Kline has specialized in gift-wrapping the mundane in understated indie-pop, turning everyday occurrences into compact, indelible ditties.

Kline’s voice is consistently sweet in tone, and it enables her to sing in refreshingly honest ways about dark feelings without coming off like an ever-present rain cloud, despite her contention in “So Blue”: "I am so blue/I make everyone else blue/My friends, my enemies, you.”

On “Actin’ Weird,” Kline tries to make sense of the oddities all around her. “Isn't it weird how we have grown so far apart?/Now I don't know you at all/You're just a name on my G-chat bar,” she sings, then extends the bizarre behavior to her long-gone family dog, Joejoe, who for years has made repeat appearances in Kline’s music (and graced the cover of Frankie Cosmos’ 2014 LP, Zentropy): “Joejoe you were in my dream, alive and facing away from me.”

Kline’s longtime bandmates — Lauren Martin (synth), Luke Pyenson (drums) and Alex Bailey (bass) — joined her in making Close it Quietly, and the group will make a stop at Ace of Cups tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 25). The world often does appear to be crumbling, and it might get dark. But Frankie Cosmos has a way of providing candor-filled comfort amid the gloom. “It's fine,” Kline sings on “With Great Purpose,” “but I don't mind when it's not fine.”

Ace of Cups

7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25

2619 N. High St., Old North

ALSO PLAYING: Lina Tullgren; Locate S, 1

Frankie Cosmos