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Inner World Peace

by Frankie Cosmos

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1.
Abigail 01:53
I’m just trying to know what I wanna die surrounded by Of all the books I’m halfway through I could build a staircase up to you Half a memory is tugging at me Abigail I want you be alive with me Can’t believe who I used to be What did i see in you? or you in me? It’s good sometimes to cut her slack that version of myself I don’t want back if I die right now I need you to see Abigail I want you to be alive with me
2.
Being jaded and being aware Poised on opposite sides of the scale Try to get in the right mindset But it isn’t there It isn’t fair Thought I saw that the labyrinth Turned out to just be on a grid Geometry came in handy but it was just for me me Aftershook after the aftershock Aftershook everybody’s staring at us now Aftershook everyone thinks you are just a clown But nobody is saying to stop Nobody is saying to stop Stop
3.
Fruit Stand 01:58
By the time I wake up, you’ll be long gone Like a fruit stand in the evening I pass on the left Everybody’s left If it’s raining and I can’t feel it, is it raining? Love is a translucent sheet hovering above concrete Both reflective and clear, beautiful with anything its near When it shatters, nothing matters There’s all these pieces but apart they have no meaning If it’s raining and I can’t feel it Is it raining?
4.
The psychic told me that I was only there 'cause I needed a friend and she held my hand And she told me that I was gonna change but she didn’t know what way. What a bust Everything is telling me that I’m regressing at light speed I don’t still play the guitar every day ask me how I am and I won’t really say I got a weeks worth of questions But you answer them all with a glance I could have seen it coming but I left it up to chance I had a magnetic personality once But I got too tired to keep it up (single tear, single tear, single tear, must be nice)
5.
Wayne 01:57
I was raised in writing love songs for someone I hate Now when I write a real one it feels like fate I try to relax my face, in case I make it to old age But you got me smiling all the time My eyes go so wide I was always afraid of starting talking 'Cause I know there’s no way of ever stopping, There is no way of fitting everything in Not everything you say has got to let them know something deeper about you Forgot a bunch of parts of me back then I want you around while I’m remembering Like in 1st grade how I went by Wayne I always had another name
6.
Sky Magnet 02:33
My heart aches at every throb renovate my brain while it’s dreaming Vision was painting with clay an enormous cafeteria tray What a way to examine how you felt to converse is the inverse of it Slow train I’ll never take again to sing harmonies with someone who’s not even my friend but I’ll always call it as it is Though it gets harder to see it You never know what they’re feeling The urge to hit snooze on everything My heart aches at every throb Some sky magnet has me in its pull, unearths me I’m just trying to stand on my feet
7.
A Work Call 03:01
Power down I'm pink like a candy heart from trying to keep up running towards running to running after you Not quite sure what I am looking for There are guides out here They're knocking at my door You take a work call I close my eyes and feel the wind on my lids! It’s not too late To say goodbye Again & again & again again
8.
Empty head It’s cool to have nothing in it It’s ok not to sing a song about everything all the time But if I did I’d fill up all the server farms I’d fill up all the iPhone clouds I’d fill up all the hard drives So I should keep an empty head Fill myself up with emptiness And try to just take a breath sometimes I’m always bursting at the seams I’ll tell you all about my dreams I wish that I could quiet it accept a little silence maybe one day I’ll find it and I’ll toe the line I pick you like a coffee cup You thought that I could pick you up But I don’t even have a car I’m taking you right where we are I’m at the bottom of the road You’re looking like the line I toed You’re at me like an antelope I’m swaying like a grassy knoll It’s the first time I spoke today and that’s why when you heard me say Hello I sounded like a frog I thought that I could pet the dog But it just wasn’t up to me I hid behind the neighbor's tree But he wouldn’t come out to play I guess I’ll try another day It’s all to keep an empty head It’s cool to have nothing in it It’s ok not to sing a song About everything All the time
9.
Fragments 02:55
We can never go back what you believe goes fast My heart meets a sea, immense The night comes smaller, intense Freaking out across the trees Now, love Now I see But I’m a guitar gone too far You facing the floor every day Prettiness that transformed nothing Here’s your chance to stop flirting with a nightmare The winds air-dried another world for you It's about more than just a different shape of the puzzle Time and space a translucent weight invisible 'til they fade away Over and over Once or forever Protect the softer It didn’t matter I have enough quiet for a landscape You can view the tunnel in a goblet You feel like a slowing ocean One day we could leave these fragments completely
10.
Prolonging babyhood I don’t wanna feed myself Don’t wanna think about the future Put my training wheels back on And pour the milk in my coffee Rip the serifs right off my lettering I don’t wanna feel strongly Don’t feel strong enough for unnamed scenarios How can you love so much Mac n cheese, feed me broccoli I miss you early summer I hear the cue Feelings are just feelings before the theory starts Prolonging babyhood, I don’t wanna feed myself Don’t wanna think about the future
11.
I feel like scored clay Rough unless I attach myself to you I see your face in the Christmas magazine, in a candy cane I am going to start letting you put spinach in my eggs It's obvious I'm Olive Oyl and you're Popeye I'm not worried about the rest of my life because you are here today I go back in time I'm a cast iron What about the sweet glazed streets of your ho-hum hometown? There I sat in warm-enough shade do you miss that reckless life? Maybe I’m asking myself It is only fair to ask myself too you don’t love me? that’s okay, god loves me, target loves me, gap loves me, you will be so successful you’ll buy new friends!
12.
F.O.O.F. 02:08 video
Counting down the days of the week Ever since I decided to freak out on Friday What a sight to see before 1pm me listening to 2007 indie, exercising It’s still Wednesday, I have to wait two more sleeps 'til I can freak out on Friday Counting sheep ‘til my turn to speak I’m super bummed I have to go I guess I’ll see you after though When I freak out on Friday When I freak out on Friday what a sight to see before 1am me listening to 2019 Frankie
13.
Street View 01:58
I felt so tragic Today on Google Maps just circling the block and seeing where we met I was making such progress Now there’s new stuff to process Seems like it’s an imperfect art hope it doesn’t fall apart falling out my body Decade later oddly clinging to the poles break it in half it’s whole Judy says i'm Trini to the bone Over the phone we’re both dancing alone make a list in an iPhone note Look at it when I’m feeling low But I’d rather write a poem I think everything's a cult Sometimes you just have to laugh at the facts
14.
Selfishly I don’t want what I see To be a prophecy Though it doesn’t scare me I just think it would be a waste to die so fast and it might make some people sad But they will figure out life after me There will be some return to normalcy The story spreads itself out so suddenly I can hardly read what I’m picturing Did he just do it so you’d know his name? Or was he really just filled with hate? What I imagine when I close my eyes It would really make my momma cry And what I feel when I sing...it would really leave you wondering Why can I see it so vividly? Slow motion, hyper-speed Broken glass, bloody mess I know I said something different before but spare the guitar!
15.
Water and a sweater vest I am doing my best Will it always be like this? All I can do is heed the call when you put it out with power you know I’ll follow I just wanna feel normal I’m not the same as I was before

about

Several things happened before a warm day when I met the four members of Frankie Cosmos in a Brooklyn studio to begin making their album. Greta Kline spent a few years living with her family and writing a mere 100 songs, turning her empathy anywhere from the navel to the moon, rendering it all warm, close and reflexively humorous. In music, everyone loves a teen sensation, but Kline has never been more fascinating than now, a decade into being one of the most prolific songwriters of her generation. She’s lodged in my mind amongst authors, other observational alchemists like Rachel Cusk or Sheila Heti, but she’s funnier, which is a charm endemic to musicians.

Meanwhile Frankie Cosmos, a rare, dwindling democratic entity called a band, had been on pandemic hiatus with no idea if they’d continue. In the openness of that uncertainty they met up, planning to hang out and play music together for the first time in nearly 500 days. There, whittling down the multitude of music to work with, they created Inner World Peace, a collection of Greta’s songs changed and sculpted by their time together. While Kline’s musical taste at the time was leaning toward aughts indie rock she’d loved as a teenager, keyboardist Lauren Martin and drummer Luke Pyenson cite “droning, meditation, repetition, clarity and intentionality,” as well as “‘70s folk and pop” as a reference for how they approached their parts. Bassist/guitarist Alex Bailey says that at the time he referred to it as their “ambient” or “psych” album. Somewhere between those textural elements and Kline’s penchant for concise pop, Inner World Peace finds its balance.

Instant centerpiece “One Year Stand” is a small snowglobe of intimacy recalling the softest moments of Yo La Tengo’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. Lifted by Martin’s drones on Hammond organ and synthesizer, it could be played on repeat in a loop. I like to think it’s obvious how Greta’s vocals were recorded: late at night as we all sat by in low light, transfixed as she sings “I’m not worried about the / rest of my life / because you are here today / I go back in time / I’m a cast iron.” The voices of Kline and Martin, who have sung together since middle school, blend seamlessly.

The first order of business upon setting up camp in Brooklyn’s Figure 8 studios was to project giant colorful slides the band had made for each track. Co-producing with Nate Mendelsohn, my Shitty Hits Recording partner, we aimed for FC’s aesthetic idiosyncrasies to shine.The mood board for “Magnetic Personality” has a neon green and black checkerboard, a screen capture of the game Street Fighter with “K.O.” in fat red letters, and a cover of Mad Magazine that says “Spy Vs. Spy! The Top Secret Files.” On tracks like “F.O.O.F.” (Freak Out On Friday), “Fragments” and “Aftershook,” the group are at their most psychedelic and playful, interjecting fuzz solos, bits of percussion, and other sonically adventurous ear candy. An internal logic strengthens everything, and in their proggiest moments, Frankie Cosmos are simply a one-take band who don’t miss. When on Inner World Peace they sound wildly, freshly different, it may just be that they’re coming deeper into their own.

Throughout the album there are plays on the notion of feeling seen or invisible, as in “Magnetic Personality” when Kline sings “ask me how I am and I won’t really say,” or in “One Year Stand” when she says “maybe I’m asking myself.” Kline emphasizes that this was her first group of songs in years that weren’t written while on tour, but rather with ample time on her hands. She reflects on past selves in “Abigail” (“that version of myself I don’t want back”) and “Wayne” (“Like in first grade / How I went by Wayne / I always had / another name”). If we’re alone, what becomes of the things we see? As in “Fruit Stand,” Kline asks “If it’s raining and I can’t feel it, is it raining?”

Inner World Peace excels in passing on the emotions it holds. When in the towering “Empty Head” Kline sings of wanting to let thoughts slide away, her voice is buoyed on a bed of synths and harmonium as tranquility abounds. When her thoughts become hurried and full of desire, so does the band, and she leaps from word to word as if unable to contain them all. As a group, they carry it all deftly, and with constant regard for Kline’s point of view.

Says Greta, “To me, the album is about perception. It’s about the question of “who am I?” and whether or not the answer matters. It’s about quantum time, the possibilities of invisible worlds. The album is about finding myself floating in a new context. A teenager again, living with my parents. An adult, choosing to live with my family in an act of love. Time propelled us forward, aged us, and also froze. If you don’t leave the house, who are you to the world? Can you take the person you discover there out with you?”

- katie von schleicher

credits

released October 21, 2022

© 2022 Sub Pop Records

Written, arranged, and performed by
Greta Kline, Alex Bailey, Lauren Martin, Luke Pyenson

Engineered by Nate Mendelsohn and co-engineered by Katie Von Schleicher at Figure 8 Recording

Mixed and Produced by Nate Mendelsohn and Katie Von Schleicher
at Figure 8 Recording, Spillway Sound, and Shitty Hits Recording
Co-produced by Greta Kline, Alex Bailey, Lauren Martin, Luke Pyenson

Additional instrumentation:
Nate Mendelsohn played saxophone on A Work Call, synth bass on Heed The Call and Street View
Katie Von Schleicher played sampler strings on Empty Head, mellotron on Heed The Call

Mastered by Josh Bonati

Album art by Lauren Martin, additional design by Dusty Summers

Thank you to our families and friends for helping us make this record.

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about

Frankie Cosmos New York, New York

Booking: john@groundcontroltouring.com

UK / EUROPE booking: clemence@atc- live.com

US Press:
press@subpop.com

UK Press:
liv@onebeatdigital.com

sync: jessyr@subpop.com

publishing:
gareths@subpop.com

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