Frankie Cosmos | Oslo Hackney | 23 May 2016
Photo credit: Landon Speers
You can pack a lot into two minutes. Just listen to anything by the Ramones. Or Frankie Cosmos’ ‘Fool’. A highlight of tonight’s set, its 120 seconds are as hard to pin down as singer-songwriter Greta Kline herself. Anxious and insecure one moment, defiantly optimistic the next, with lyrics that shift from obtuse (“Your name is a triangle, Your heart is a square”) to direct (“You make me feel like a fool”), the song’s mood swings are matched only by the number of time changes.
Backed by bassist David Maine, drummer Luke Pyenson, and Lauren Martin on keyboards, a relaxed Kline effortlessly pulls off these complexities, singing and playing guitar to 350 people as if she’s performing to a few friends in her living room. And, apart from a brief choreographed dance routine by gig headliners Porches, that intimacy remains unchanged, putting the focus squarely on songs that match feelings of self-doubt, despair, and disaffection with bright indie-pop melodies.
Like the jangly but melancholy ‘Floated In’ with its refrain of “What are you doing?” and the pretty but forlorn love song ‘Outside With The Cuties’, dedicated to Porches frontman Aaron Maine. ‘Dancing In The Public Eye’ pairs introspective verses (“If you really love me, you’ll leave me alone”) with a joyous, fuzzed out chorus (“I want to go dancing in the public eye”), while ‘I Do Too’ combines a confident classic Cure sound with lyrics like “Everybody is nobody” and “I have no idea what I’m doing”.
But, when it comes to music, Kline knows exactly what she’s doing. By the time she unstraps her guitar for the sleek, synth-led finale of ‘Young’ and ‘Korean Food’, she’s shared some of her most intimate thoughts with a roomful of strangers who’ve been changed by the experience.
- Frankie Cosmos plays The Dome, Tufnell Park on 8 September 2016. Tickets are now available.