New Music Friday: Frankie Cosmos channels awkward subway experiences into dream pop

Greta Simone Klein, founder of Frankie Cosmos, is also the daughter of two famous people as well as a connoiseur of excellent sweaters.

Greta Simone Klein, founder of Frankie Cosmos, is also the daughter of two famous people as well as a connoiseur of excellent sweaters.

If you have a finger (even a pinkie) on the pulse of the Brooklyn music scene these days, chances are you’ve at least heard mention of Frankie Cosmos. Though she’s actually based out of Manhattan, don’t hold that against her: Greta Simone Kline, better known as founder of Frankie Cosmos, has been playing the crap out of Brooklyn’s DIY scene for the better part of the past few years. Frankie Cosmos’ new album, Next Thing, drops today, and we’re super stoked.

One of the tracks off the new album, “On The Lips,” was named one of Pitchfork’s Best New Tracks in March. When asked how that happened, Kline chuckled and said, “I don’t really know! I guess our song is good!”

And I guess that song IS good. It’s the catchiest song I know of that references traversing the New York City subway and the mysteries of human relationships while also referencing “magician” David Blaine.

“On the Lips” is a catchy, almost danceable ditty, in which Kline’s airy vocals coo, “I’ll never have all the answers/ separated by a subway transfer,” a sentiment all too apropos for a millennial traversing life in New York City. It’s apropos for a lot of people, really. As I listen to it on the train, I look around the car for someone to whom I could sing “where would I kiss ya/if I could kiss ya.” In my head. Not out loud. I’m not THAT creepy.

I forgot to ask Kline about David Blaine, but I did ask her about memorable subway experiences. Having been raised in New York City, she’s got a few:

“This huge adult dude once got in my face for no reason when I was 16 and was screaming at only me,” Kline, now 22, said. “I was on a silent, crowded train with lots of sane adults and nobody did anything. It was a pretty scary sad moment for me in a city where I feel like people should help each other out (and sometimes do).”

And when asked if she’s ever met anybody important on a subway ride, as when she talks about meeting a potential love interest in “On The Lips” she says, “I haven’t really met any new friends on public transit, but the friends I made in high school would take the bus all together every day and that was kinda how we started hanging out.”

Her sound is akin to the sweet, lilting dream pop tones of fellow Brooklyn DIY favorite Eskimeaux, which makes sense – Eskimeaux’s Gabrielle Smith is an integral member of Kline’s band, though she will be leaving shortly to follow her own pursuits. It’s bittersweet, but we look forward to more from both Frankie Cosmos and Eskimeaux. When asked about other favorite Brooklyn bands, Kline says her top three are all artists with whom she’s recently recorded: Eskimeaux (duh), Vagabon (who I also interviewed!) and Cende.

If you go on Frankie Cosmos’ Bandcamp, you’ll notice that there is a shit ton of music on there. Kline is a prolific singer and songwriter, producing songs that are at once catchy and poignant, danceable and thinkable. You’ll also notice that a large part of her songs, and even her bandcamp URL, is under the name Ingrid Superstar — Kline changed the name, she says, “around late 2011- early 2012, when I decided Frankie Cosmos was a better name.”

You’ll also notice that about half the pictures on her bandcamp, including the cover of her album Zentropy, are of a small, grey, fluffy dog.

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zentropy

“That’s Joe Joe!” Kline said gleefully. “My mascot and muse.”

And does her last name sound familiar? That would be because she’s the daughter of Kevin Kline, famous Hollywood actor and voice of Mr. Fischoeder on TV’s Bob’s Burgers. Which means that her mom is Phoebe Cates, famously red-bikini-clad hot girl from the 1982 classic Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Famous parents aside, Kline is an incredible songwriter, and her new album is fantastic. Check it out everywhere today, and be sure to follow her on social media for show and tour dates. Her two album release shows at Shea Stadium are sold out this weekend, but you can catch her May 1 at Market Hotel.

For more on local music and less on David Blaine, follow Lilly on Twitter. And to pitch Lilly for New Music Friday, email lilly@brokelyn.com.