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Close It Quietly

by Frankie Cosmos

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about

Close It Quietly is a continual reframing of the known. It’s like giving yourself a haircut or rearranging your room. You know your hair. You know your room. Here’s the same hair, the same room, seen again as something new. Close It Quietly takes the trademark Frankie Cosmos micro-universe and upends it, spilling outwards into a swirl of referentiality that’s a marked departure from earlier releases, imagining and reimagining motifs and sounds throughout the album. FC’s fourth studio release is a manifestation of the band’s collaborative spirit: Greta Kline and longtime bandmates Lauren Martin (synth), Luke Pyenson (drums), and Alex Bailey (bass) luxuriated in studio time with Gabe Wax, who engineered and co-produced the record with the band.

Recording close to home— at Brooklyn’s Figure 8 Studios— grounded the band, and their process was enriched by working closely with Wax, whose intuition and attention to detail made the familiar unfamiliar and allowed the band to reshape their own contexts. On opener “Moonsea,” an unaccompanied Greta begins, “The world is crumbling and I don’t have much to say.” Take that as a wink and a metonym for the whole album, as her signature vocals are joined by Alex’s ascending bassline and Lauren’s eddying synths, invoking a loungey take on Broadcast or Stereolab’s space-disco experimental pop. There’s much more than “not much” to say here, and it's augmented and expanded by experimentation with synth patches, textures, and other recording nuances courtesy of Wax.

As the lineup has solidified into the most permanent expression of full-band Frankie Cosmos, the bandmates have felt more comfortable deviating from their default instruments and contributing bigger-picture ideas to continue pushing the sound forward. The synergy of its creation is clear upon listening: the multiple hands dipping and re-dipping into each song form a multifaceted whole. The band’s closeness and aesthetic consistency freed its members to take more musically-formal risks, notes Luke: "Everything will sound like Frankie Cosmos because Greta has such a distinct voice (literally and figuratively). We have so much latitude to experiment with the instrumental music, and this time around we really took advantage of that."

The album forms its own vortex of reinvention that’s embodied through both the tracks themselves and the recording and arranging processes. “A Joke” curls in on itself, in word and in deed, a series of undercuts defining negative space: “It’s just a joke I wasn’t trying to tell;” “It wasn’t really a game;” “I do not know what I am for/I wasn’t really keeping score.” Inverting technology’s human mimicry, Luke impersonates a drum machine until the song’s end. “A Joke’s” tricks scratch at something bigger, a small song embodying the laughability of attempting to neatly organize or adhere to any particular role.

“Rings of a Tree” frees itself from its original context: released earlier this year on Greta’s solo piano album Haunted Items, she didn’t initially anticipate a major deviation; then, Luke says, “Lauren and I had the same arrangement idea without talking about it. Like, ‘let’s make this song funky. Let’s channel Orange Juice.’ We texted Greta and Alex before practice and Alex came in with a new guitar part that perfectly captured what Lauren and I heard in our heads.”

“I’m just fucking glad for my bubble/despite how often it is penetrated by evil” Greta sings on “Last Season’s Textures,” taking to task the accusation that young people cloister themselves in complacency: she’s quick to point to, thank, and feel suspicious of that sphere all at once. The song explores the feeling of safety in her realm; reasonable despair re: reality (“the news is excruciating”); and a quick admission that darkness isn’t something a liberal-minded social network can block out. Kline notes how the song is “partly about misogyny and internalized misogyny--moments where I've felt betrayed by what is meant to be a safe space.”

Without losing any intimacy of prior albums, Close it Quietly is different, is outer. The album functions as a benign doppelganger, a shadow self of past releases; where other Frankie Cosmos records shine brightest looking inward, Close it Quietly refracts the self into the world, and vice versa, miraculously echoing Thoreau’s assertion that “when I reflect, I find that there is other than me.”

Reflection--and refraction--isn’t tidy. “Flowers don’t grow/in an organized way/why should I?” Greta sings on “A Joke.” Growth isn’t linear. Change happens in circles. While recording the album, Alex says, “I closed my eyes a lot.” Stand in the sun, listen to Close it Quietly, and do the same.

credits

released September 6, 2019

2019 Sub Pop Records

all songs written by Greta Kline
arranged & performed by Frankie Cosmos:
Greta Kline, Alex Bailey, Lauren Martin, Luke Pyenson
Produced by Gabe Wax, Greta Kline, Alex Bailey, Lauren Martin, & Luke Pyenson at Figure 8 Recording in Brooklyn NY, February 2019
Assistant Engineer Nate Mendelsohn
Dominic Coles played modular synth on Moonsea & Never Would
Nate Mendelsohn played saxophone on Even Though I Knew
Kevin on piano, Phoebe on harmonies on With Great Purpose
Mixed by Gabe Wax
Mastered by Josh Bonati
Album art by Lauren Martin & Eliza Doyle
Special thank you to everyone who made this happen, our families, friends, and everyone at Sub Pop <3

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Frankie Cosmos New York, New York

Booking: john@groundcontroltouring.com

UK / EUROPE: clemence@atc- live.com

Sync/Licensing: jcoombs@scmusicpub.com

US Press:
press@subpop.com

UK Press:
liv@onebeatdigital.com

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Track Name: Moonsea
The world is crumbling and I don't have much to say
We say goodbye
"goodbye"
Go slow like the train
I hope you know you're not nothing
We've got everything to gain
And I know it's not the same
I'm not in the world that way
At least that's what I'm trying
It's just pancakes on a stove
It's rock and roll
And roll
Cause I'm the moon and you are the sea
You always seem sad underneath me
All fires go out later, some burn a bit greater, but it's all just fire on my ass telling me love myself better
Track Name: Cosmic Shop
Your windows glisten yellow in the sunset
I got teary looking at the sky again
Rivers fill the sewers underneath you
I wanna be beneath you too
Each leaf blowing never even knowing what it was like to be stuck onto a tree
Two white doggies do not know each other
Both of them are holding something pink inside them
You're inching up at a red light
I look straight into your 6 eyes
You can break me up but you can't keep me aside
Like a leaf you shred in two has gotta keep on living through years to come
When I need to be made to feel small, and I call you but you're not picking up, I just go to the cosmic shop
Track Name: 41st
Does anyone wanna hear the 40 songs I wrote this year?
Had a dream based on reality
You were being really mean to me
For what it's worth I wish I was the earth
Every time I'm remembering what you were
I close my eyes every time and I wonder why
(Why? Why? Why? Why?)
I look at the branches and hold a mirror up
They're looking at me and say "you don't have a comb, do ya?"
I'm trying to sit still between the chatter
Holding me together is that I'll be seeing you after
Glimmering lips give you away
You've got nothing to say
Try to recall if it ever felt like this
Turning around to this stranger that I'm with
I only want something comforting
Track Name: So Blue
I am everyone you'll never meet
I am every book you'll never read
I am the picture that didn't come out
I am the story stuck inside of your mouth
The sky is so blue, it makes everything else blue
The trucks, the stones, the view
I am so blue, I make everyone else blue
My friends, my enemies, you
I am so blue, I make everyone else blue
My friends, my enemies, you
Track Name: A Joke
(1, 2)
It's just a joke I wasn't trying to tell
What the hell?
I do not know what I am for
I wasn't really keeping score
It wasn't really a game
Flowers don't grow in an organized way
Why should I?
A bowl of sugar and some flower stems
Their spikes growing
I wanted to come from a painting
An abstraction
Calling up Time and waiting on the line
Til I finally say "I quit, baby"
It's just a joke I wasn't trying to tell
What the hell?
I still don't know what I am for
I wasn't really keeping score
It wasn't really a game
Flowers don't grow in an organized way
Why should I?
Track Name: Rings (On A Tree)
I see now that it was wrong, so wrong, to try to hold on to a falling tree:
One that wouldn't even look at me,
Whose sticks were all arranged so evenly,
Who wasn't holding arms out lovingly
Humiliate your family
Just 'cause you wanna stand with me
I think your ring means more than our thing
The day after I decide to end it all
I go for a walk and it feels like everything
Is planted to tell me
not to
do it
Oh how I wish we never met
Oh baby I was all alone in it
Now I see that I was always me underneath everything I ever tried to be
Now i see that there is always you turning up in everything I do
Track Name: Actin' Weird
My body's sending out some shit
And I cannot keep track of it
I remember feeling like aliens
We were cotton balls dipped in sand
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
Joejoe you were in my dream, alive and facing away from me
I don't know how to feel, everybody's acting weird
Actin' weird actin' weird actin' weird actin' weird
Track Name: Windows
I still like looking out windows
I know how to forgive those
sceneries for surrounding me
but you did it differently
I don't know how with you though I'd really like to
I'm waiting for you to become
something I heard somewhere once
I want guidance, direction
even for just a second
Spit out diamonds, cough up rubies
Call me when you can see through me
Spit out diamonds, cough up rubies
Call me when you can see through me
Do I have regrets? Certainly
Mostly the fantasy
I let it encircle me
But you did it differently
Do I bounce? I bounce back
Aimless maybe but a worthy task
The slow leak, slow drain
Or: never notice you're boiling
But the fill up is quick
You just have to wait for it
Spit out diamonds, cough up rubies
Call me when you can see through me
Spit out diamonds, cough up rubies
Call me when you can see through me
Track Name: Never Would
It'd make a good song to miss you
But I really don't at all
If you were any good I'd sing
"Oh babyyyy why'd you have to goooo"
It'd make a good song to go see you
I'd say "don't worry about him, we're just friends, it doesn't mean nothin" and he'd say "oh baby please don't go, stay here with me and hang out"
But it's not a song
(But it's not a song) And I never would
Track Name: Self-destruct
Way up high and fucked
Not violent enough to self-destruct
But I wanna stop being in this life
Late at night we dive into the light
Your eyes swing shut like an orange peel but
It's just gravity making me tired, weighing me
Track Name: Wannago
the cloud so big and dark
foams up around my heart
the pointed arms of trees
saying "this is where the cloud is"
road wet with yellow lines
and shadows of cars & planes
it's been forever but it's whatever
I'm here for you and I would never
forget you
forget you
you are the best but your will is less
strong than the rest so you just rest
we go together like cymbal and snare
held back and thrust together again
it's miraculous that humans are here
we built ourselves or god is real
and we ended up with eyes and ears
and dreams and science and love and fears
i'm crying here
in the backseat
our home is far
away, empty
and you love me
and you love me
and love is a miracle
cause life's a dream
Prada red and Matisse blue
far yet, close together like me and you
i'm almost there (I'm almost there)
i'm almost there (I wanna go back)
i wanna go back (I'm almost there)
i want to go back (I wanna go back)
where can you put yourself that makes sense (I'm almost there)
i'm worried that i might forget (I wanna go back)
i'm almost there (I'm almost there)
i'm almost there (I wanna go back)
i wanna go back (I'm almost there)
i want to go back (I wanna go back)
if i had a choice
i'd listen to your voice
all day while I'm gone
telescope straight to your song
Track Name: I'm It
I'm following it even though it is not what I expected
I don't know if it's me or I'm it but I cannot regret it
When it's all over I don't
When it's all over I don't know what
When it's all over I don't know what happened to me
The air hangs in the air
I don't care if you don't care
I care that I care
When it's all over I don't
When it's all over I don't know what
When it's all over I don't know what happened to me
Track Name: Trunk Of A Tree
You're the trunk of a tree
Silent, filled with clarity
I am a point in time
Moving slow along a line
You hit just below the note
Oh to be a fly on the wall of your throat
God I'd love to climb inside your brain
Remember what it's like to be less vain
I'd close your eyes and see anything
Even just some memory
Track Name: Last Season's Textures
how can i still feel so unstrong
when so much more could have been wrong?
i still hate every moment where people i thought i knew
laughed in my face like there was nothing they could do
the news is excruciating
how'd the world get so devastating?
I'm just fucking glad for my bubble
despite how often it is penetrated
by evil
i remember when i figured out everything was the same
walking around seeing building after building
but all those things you hear about
They only happen to other people
it doesn't happen to me
not me
wouldn't be caught dead
in last season's textures
our heads are filled up
staying true to the pressure
Track Name: Even Though I Knew
We never talked about a thing, never went through it
Even though I knew you weren't feeling true to me
The train crawls like our phone calls
I let it go on far too long
I would've let it go on forever
In the window my reflection will show
It has grown since you have known it
Right after this I might ask for it
Babe you know I'd climb under your fence for 25 cents
I know it's bad but you know I would
15 dogs on a wall, 10 seltzers deep in it all
Check the eggs that none are cracked
I know you can remember that
Track Name: UFO
I wish I could forgive myself for letting it happen
As fast as you forgave yourself for your actions
Selfish as you are cannot be undone
You wouldn't let me let myself become a person
Diamond in your throat
Is it in my dreams?
Maybe see you there
Facing away from me
I'm lying next to you in the strong grass
The car pushes by fast and the clouds are just gas
Everything I know
Picked up by a UFO
maybe you too
Do I know you?
I want it so bad that I hate it so much
Are you for or against? Well maybe I'm both
Maybe I'm both
Maybe I'm both
Track Name: Marbles
I might go to the party at the house tonight
But maybe I won't
Maybe I won't
Burn the coffee
One for taste
Gotta watch it go to waste
You wanna be loved (you wanna be loved?)
Do you wanna be seen (do you wanna be seen?)
You wanna be hated you wanna be mean
We both know it's all the same
Doesn't matter which way you swing
Sometimes I wanna extend, sometimes the pain is so immense it's churning me out
But then you turn around
I'm a lover
I give light
I was never made to fight
Oh darling I wanna give you all my marbles
You're a perfect planet I want to inhabit
Track Name: Did You Find
You're in the corner of my eye
Can you tell I'm wondering why
does it feel like I have known you my whole life?
Did you find
Did you find that in this one we are meant to keep passing each other by?
Track Name: A Hit
Are you smiling at me or you baring your teeth?
I'll always have a tender feeling towards the me that loved the you
I wouldn't recognize you from behind even if the front of you were my palm
Lean over, fake tender
Like I feel like a man in my dreams
Like I like how I look with you in my arms, or
I like how you look in my arms, or
I like to look at my arms, or
Look at me, my arms are yours
I wanna be all arms
I wanna be all yours
There's a diamond in your throat
If you leave your light on it was always up to me
Every song is a hit
If you pretend to understand it
Track Name: With Great Purpose
It's fine but I don't mind when it's not fine
I go far though I don't know where to go
with great purpose
I get nervous
Nervous
My heart is as sharp as a sonnet
I could crack an egg right on it
Honest
Every time I should've said so
gets stuck inside of this "no"
Nooooo
Track Name: This Swirling
I'm back on my crying
Every day I'm dying to let some water out my body
And into the world around me
You didn't look at me at all
And i just stared at the wall
The whole time
I'm like a dandelion
Just a little bit of breath blows me apart
Just standing here seems like a good start for me to cry
'cause I'm back on my crying
Every day I'm dying to let some water out my body
And into the world around me
It never stops, this swirling
But honey I will die trying
I will die crying
I will cry dying
I will try crying
I will cry trying
But see you there through a veil of tears
Watch you through a wash
It never stops, this swirling....

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