With a voice that sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack of Juno, Greta Kline harbors a deep longing and desire to rewire every aspect of her life on Close It Quietly. Her band, Frankie Cosmos, recorded their fourth album near their homes in New York, letting the scenes and stories pocketed in each street heavily influence their work. The group consists of guitarist and vocalist Kline, bassist Alex Bailey, synth player Lauren Martin, and drummer Luke Pyenson—but all the songs are derived straight from the ruled pages of Kline’s journal, as she writes about disorder in her small universe held within the album.
The project revolves around Kline pleading for different ideas, outcomes, possibilities that she wishes to see in her world. On “Wannago” she quietly begs to return home, singing on the bridge “Where can you put yourself that makes sense (I'm almost there) / I'm worried that I might forget (I wanna go back)." She longs for her lover the way one longs for a perfect prom night on “Even Though I Knew,” chanting a choppy story of train rides and seltzers. Despite writing songs for over ten years, Frankie Cosmos crystallizes the feeling of unsatisfied adolescence with each song.
“Marbles” is a diving ballad that features one main guitar while Kline describes her indecisiveness towards romance. A stark contrast to this is “I’m It,” which immediately begins with an aggressive drum pattern, but leaves a fairly lackluster impression overall. This juxtaposition of the depressingly sad versus the upbeat and hopeful typifies not just this project but all of those by Frankie Cosmos. It’s clear to see why the band is often compared to Snail Mail, as they both specialize in sounds of carelessness and desperation.
The attention to detail gives the record moments to quietly glint. The lyrics read as monologues you might recite to yourself as you get coffee alone in the mornings, or scribble into you note—taking app before turning your lamp off at night. It is clear that Kline has mastered narrative within music, such as on “Last Season’s Textures” where she realizes everything exciting in the world happens to everyone but her. Or on “With Great Purpose,” a track less than two minutes long where she sings “My heart is as sharp as a sonnet / I could crack an egg right on it.” As if taking a mirror and placing it against the walls of her mind, Kline uses witticisms and repetition to blanket over the fact that her world may be falling out of order everyday.
Close It Quietly is not a revolutionary step for Frankie Cosmos, nor is it a revelation for Greta Kline to sing about being a young woman in a big place. However, it doesn’t try to be that; instead, it shows maturity in its recognition of identity, showing that the unknown doesn't just have to be scary. It finds calm in disorder, and somehow performs a balancing act between the two motifs over and over again with each song. It offers its experiences, and leaves us to take what we will, rather than trying to change our minds.