Guided by the succinct, sweet, and self-conscious tendencies of singer/songwriter Greta Kline, indie pop group Frankie Cosmos started as a prolific home-based solo project in the early 2010s. As young teen in the late 2000s, she tapped into the quirky vibes of New York’s SideWalk Cafe anti-folk scene, which had given birth to the Moldy Peaches early in the decade, as well as the D.I.Y. ethos of K Records. Her songs appeared mostly online in various albums, sometimes on a monthly basis. Growing in popularity and influence, Frankie Cosmos made her studio and label debut with Zentropy in 2014. Two years later, Next Thing was her first Top 40 independent album. Though Kline had been recording with a backing band since Zentropy, the project’s first official outing as a group was 2018′s Vessel, Frankie Cosmos’ Sub Pop debut.
A native New Yorker, Kline is the daughter of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates. Having played piano and drums and settled on guitar by the seventh grade, she frequented local underground rock shows in her youth. After being introduced to a small community of encouraging artists at Purchase College in Westchester, she began writing and recording her own songs. Kline herself attended N.Y.U., where she studied poetry. Though she began uploading songs under aliases including ingrid superstar, Little Bear, and the Ingrates as early as 2009, by 2012 Kline had dropped out of college to focus on music and was playing shows and recording under the name Frankie Cosmos.
Following dozens of home-recorded, self-released collections, Frankie Cosmos’ label debut, Zentropy, arrived on Double Double Whammy in 2014. It represented Kline’s first studio album, completed with the help of a full band. She soon signed with Bayonet Records, which issued the four-track Fit Me In EP a year later. The second Frankie Cosmos studio album was written as the songwriter transitioned into her twenties. Titled Next Thing, it saw release in 2016, also on Bayonet. Next Thing spent a week at the number 13 spot on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and was a Top 40 independent album.
Kline joined Warehouse members Alex Bailey and Doug Bleichner on side project Lexie in mid-2017, issuing the eight-track debut Record Time! Ava Luna’s Carlos Hernandez recorded and mixed the album. That same year, Frankie Cosmos officially became a four-piece and signed with Sub Pop Records.
Featuring Kline with Lauren Martin on keys, David Maine (aka Main) on bass, and Luke Pyenson on drums, they made their Sub Pop debut with Vessel in 2018. It was a Top Ten Heatseekers album and reached number 21 on Billboard’s independent albums chart. Alex Bailey, who contributed guitar to the album, replaced Maine as the group’s bassist in time for subsequent touring. A digital-only collection consisting of piano songs recorded by a solo Kline and first issued as weekly singles, Frankie Cosmos’ Haunted Items followed in April 2019. Back with bandmates Martin, Pyenson, and Bailey, that September’s Close It Quietly was tracked with engineer/co-producer Gabe Wax. ~ Marcy Donelson & Fred Thomas