INTERVIEW: FRANKIE COSMOS

May 2nd, 2020

Words & Playlist by Zoe Bridgwater · Collage by Luna Rey Cano

Listening to a Greta Kline recording feels fuzzy and familiar, like talking with my best friend on the phone

In 2015, I would listen to my copy of Frankie Cosmos’ debut solo album "Zentropy" (Double Double Whammy) every night as I fell asleep. It was a ritual that kept me grounded in high school, and gave me something to look forward to after another long day of AP U.S. History homework. The near-closing lines of “Dancing In The Public Eye” (“I try not to be pretentious / But I always get embarrassed”) made me feel better; I liked knowing that other people felt the same self-awareness that I did in social situations. Now, in 2020, I’ve found myself seeking comfort in Greta’s music again, listening almost daily as a means of slowing down and staying connected to the world. 

Greta has released nearly fifty EPs on Bandcamp under aliases Ingrid Superstar, Zebu Fur, and The Ingrates, and four studio albums under her better known moniker Frankie Cosmos. She brings a unique, comforting quality to all of her recordings, whether bedroom demos or studio albums; listening to a Greta Kline recording feels fuzzy and familiar, like talking with my best friend on the phone. Last week, I asked Greta about crafting, livestream concerts, and what she has been doing with her spare time. 

How have you found yourself spending this extra time?

I have been pretty listless. I try to write or craft, I tried to do yoga every day but fell off the past few days. I read, I watch TV, I hang out with my mom a lot. I wrote a few songs, but mostly just re-learning and practicing songs for the weekly livestreams.

You have been doing a series of live performances on Instagram - how has this adjustment been for you? Have there been any pros or cons to this new style of performing?

There are pros and cons! It’s definitely a strange experience. I’m super relieved to have that outlet: it keeps me doing something, and it’s a new way to interact with fans and a whole different style of performing for me. The biggest con of course is missing my band and playing with them. It’s fun to have my bandmates and friends writing in the comments though.

Have stay-at-home orders given you a chance to return to your Ingrid Superstar roots?

I’d say I’ve never left those roots, especially when it comes to writing and demo-ing. When I do force myself to complete a demo, it feels really good. I’ve been especially lazy with writing and demo-ing during this time because my brain feels like mush from isolation, and also I’ve been taking this as an opportunity to rest my wrists/hands. But I also am definitely getting back in touch with my teenage self - I’m living with my family and regressing in some ways, and playing old songs on the livestreams.

 

Do you have any albums and/or songs that you are finding comfort in at the moment?

I don’t have a ton of time or space alone to listen to music because I’m isolating with four other people. But a couple of friends have sent me unreleased stuff they’ve been working on and that is super exciting to get to listen to!

What was the last thing you read? And watched?

I just finished reading "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is such an amazing book. I highly recommend it. And just finished watching all of "Love Is Blind" with my mom (my second time, my mom’s first time).

 

Are there some things that you miss about socializing? Things that you do not miss?

I miss sitting with friends and crafting or cooking together, and having moments of silence together. I think that’s an energy exchange that is hard to recreate through technology. However, I’m pretty used to going long stretches of time without seeing my friends in person (because of my rock 'n' roll touring lifestyle) so it doesn’t feel too different from that, socially.

How have you been keeping in touch with your friends, family, and fans while being apart?

I haven’t been doing a great job at that. I’m isolating with my immediate family and my boyfriend, so that part is easy. But I have had a harder time making space and time to get on the phone with friends. I am ok at texting or talking to pals on the internet. I have a new email penpal. My natural inclination when I’m off tour is to be very internal and bordering on anti-social or agoraphobic, so I’m more worried about how I will adjust back to being in the world when this is “all over.”

Could you draw a picture of the view outside your window?

What are some ways that people can support musicians and artists right now?

Buying music, or even putting songs on your playlists or posting about music you are listening to. Some people are starting to do ticketed livestreams - definitely “go to those shows” if you can! It’s a fun new kind of show experience: you get to see how the performer plays without a physical audience in front of them. And I think if socializing at shows is something you feel is missing, you get a new opportunity to “chat” with fellow fans without the performer hearing you! And you can be in pajamas at a rock show, or literally dance like no one is watching.


You can listen to Greta’s music on Bandcamp or Spotify, or find her on instagram @frankiecombos. She is signed to Sub Pop.

Zoe Bridgwater loves to create work that draws attention to elements in everyday life that are often overlooked by people in a hurry. She is never not reading about and/or listening to music.

Luna Rey Cano is a 22-year-old living in Argentina. She takes photos, makes collages, draws, and loves anything visual.

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