Vessel, the latest album from Frankie Cosmos (AKA singer/songwriter Greta Kline), sounds like one long poem set to music. Kline’s been playing music since she was a teenager, and released her debut studio album, 2014’s Zentropy, when she was just 19. But she’s worn her youth uncomfortably. “I heard about being young,” she sings on “Young” (from her 2015 EP Fit Me In), “but I’m not sure how it’s done.”
Kline developed a cultish following for the lo-fi bedroom recordings she shared on Bandcamp, which both reinforced and rejected the expectations surrounding teen girlhood. At 24, on Vessel Kline already sounds like a jaded veteran rocker: “Looking around at 22/And so tired of myself around you/Maybe I don’t fit your ideals anymore/Or maybe I just grew up into a bore,” she sings on “Apathy.” Throughout the album, Kline’s existential lyrics reflect the pain and awkwardness of living in an earthly body. The songs are less twee than the ones on Zentropy, though they’re still super-short (there are 18 tracks on the new LP, and most are under two minutes long).
On Vessel Kline flexes her inimitable songwriting muscles, and the result is still as painstakingly detailed and intimate as any of her earlier releases. When the Mercury asked Kline what it’s like to play these songs to a crowd, she responded, “Sometimes scary and bad, but sometimes healing and chill.” For this visit, she’ll be joined by keyboardist Lauren Martin, bassist Alex Bailey, and drummer Luke Pyenson. If Vessel is Kline at 24, I’m looking forward to the years to come—her take on growing and aging as a woman is uniquely honest.