For a band that could be described as generic bedroom pop, Frankie Cosmos has found a way to distinguish itself from its peers without ever getting an ego about it. Frontwoman Greta Kline meanders her way through adulthood with each passing record, her gentle falsetto holding you close as she details the friends, pets, and moments that define the way she views the world. It’s a formula that gets everyone to lean in closer to hear her all the more.
Vessel, the band’s newest album, is familiar and comforting the way Frankie Cosmos records always seem to be. Greta Kline still writes the songs by herself. The lyrics are still sung through a a humbled whisper. These days, the only difference in Kline’s songwriting is that playing songs with her bandmates occasionally brings a few instrumental changes to the surface. Vessel sticks out in the band’s catalog because the mood of the record changes based on how you read Kline’s lyrics—“I’d like to be a shadow in a shadow / more deeply invisible than invisible,” is one of her personal favorites—as most are just vague enough to dodge sounding strictly optimistic or negative. That was intentional. Or at least, the album’s title suggests as much.
“A vessel can be empty or full,” says Kline, expanding on the power of perspective in Vessel in song and title. “You can put something into it or take something out of it. It holds possibility and expectation. It might just be a shell or it might be a temple.”
To explore the less ambiguous details of Frankie Cosmos’ music, we interviewed Greta Kline for a round of Wheel of Tunes, a series where we ask musicians questions inspired by their song titles. With Vessel as the prompt, her answers are brief but heartfelt—a mirror image of the music the band will play when headlining the Sinclair this Wednesday.
DIGBOSTON: What’s your “special” cooking trick or skill, even if it isn’t all that special?
KLINE: I can poach eggs, so that!
DIGBOSTON: Which current trend are you apathetic about?
KLINE: I think if there are trends I’m apathetic about, I just don’t even notice them. So most trends. The only trend I’m passionate about is shoulder-windows in clothing and shoulder makeup. I called it way far in advance.
3) “As Often as I Can”
DIGBOSTON: Can you name a part of your routine that you feel like you have to do every day?
KLINE: I have so many daily routines that I feel I have to do. I’m particularly proud of the fact that I floss every day. I even floss on tour.
4) “This Stuff”
DIGBOSTON: Are you the type of person who accumulates a lot of stuff?
KLINE: I mostly accumulate notes and drawings from strangers.
DIGBOSTON: If you were given a pet today as a gift, what would you name it? What animal do you hope it would be?
KLINE: A dog! I would probably be adopting an adult dog, so it would already have a name. But if it were a puppy, maybe I’d name it Borb.
DIGBOSTON: When is the last time you did a duet with someone?
KLINE: My friend Gabby and I make up really crazy dueling duets while trying to distract her dog from sounds that might make him bark. We sing on either side of him. So probably doing that.
DIGBOSTON: When was the last time you hosted somebody?
KLINE: I think it was a couple weeks ago. I hosted somebody at my house, a couple days before we started touring.
8) “I’m Fried”
DIGBOSTON: What’s your favorite fried food?
KLINE: Donuts … because they’re donuts!
DIGBOSTON: If you could instate a rule for everyone to follow, starting right now, what would it be?
KLINE: Be considerate.
10) “Ballad of R & J”
DIGBOSTON: Who wrote the last ballad that made you teary?
KLINE: My friend Zach from iji. To me, the song is about the emotional experience of touring endlessly.
11) “Ur Up”
DIGBOSTON: When was the last time you played a sport?
KLINE: Probably sometime in the past year because I play basketball every once in a while with friends!
12) “Being Alive”
DIGBOSTON: When you wake up in the morning, what’s one thing you continually feel thankful for?
KLINE: If I’m at home, my partner making me breakfast.
13) “Bus Bus Train Train”
DIGBOSTON: Which form of public transit do you prefer to take: bus or train?
KLINE: Bus, because even though it is slower, it’s prettier and you can’t get stuck.
14) “My Phone”
DIGBOSTON: What’s the background photo on your phone?
KLINE: My lock screen is my old dog Joejoe. My background is my partner as a little kid. I don’t know why they’re different. I think I just wanted a variety of cute things?
DIGBOSTON: What was your favorite snack in middle school?
16) “The End”
DIGBOSTON: Have you had any friendships or relationships come to an end recently? If so, what do you miss most from it?
KLINE: Yesterday, we said goodbye to the eight people we were on tour with the past two weeks, SOAR and Ian Sweet. It always feels like a big goodbye, though it’s not exactly the end of a friendship. It’s just a certain style of friendship where you’re seeing each other every day.
17) “Same Thing”
DIGBOSTON: What’s a knockoff item that you think is just as good as the original?
KLINE: The only knockoff item I can even think of is Instax. But I kinda think it’s not as good as Polaroid?
DIGBOSTON: When is the last time you went on a boat?
KLINE: We played on a docked boat in Dijon this past year. I don’t know what kind of boat it was, but it was cool!
FRANKIE COSMOS, FLORIST, LALA LALA. WED 5.2. THE SINCLAIR, 52 CHURCH ST., CAMBRIDGE. 7PM/18+/$16. SINCLAIRCAMBRIDGE.COM