Greta Kline’s debut outing for an established, if still somewhat risk taking, label (Sub Pop) brought with it a degree of interest bordering on trepidation. Her work has always given off the impression of verdant, if vulnerable sprouts breaking through pavement. These delicate marvels appeared to flourish in isolation, their fiercely inward looking, diaristic nature being the key to their self-consciously low-stakes/high-drama charm.
While Vessel does indeed find Kline’s miniature pop masterpieces sounding bigger than ever, these new heights are reached through an even greater sense of warmth and openness. Any extra sheen to the music is plainly product of a group of musicians more comfortable with one another than ever. Where 2016’s Next Thing was Kline’s first “full band” record, Vessel feels a much more roundly collaborative document. With so much of Frankie Cosmos’ existing catalogue being so plainly concerned with Kline’s own romantic and domestic life – sometimes fraught with anxiety, often endearingly beatific – Vessel feels like Kline examining the world anew, including her place in it, having come out the other side of a long relationship.
Lyrically, Kline still effortlessly and insightfully flits between the existentially monumental, the familiarly banal and the meeting point of the two. But, the perspectives are not Kline’s alone; friends repeatedly lend their voices to songs – furnishing the whole endeavor with an even more potent collectivist sentiment. It’s Frankie’s cosmos but immersing oneself in it has never been more appealing.
Words – Danny Wilson
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