REVIEW: Frankie Cosmos - Fit Me In

Kelly Kirwan

Frankie Cosmos is as ethereal and quirky as the name implies, with that kind of wry, nightingale voice that toes the line between intimate and aloof. The mastermind behind the moniker is Greta Kline, and if the last name sounds familiar, I’ll draw the connecting thread—Kevin Kline, who happens to be her father (her mother is also actress Phoebe Cates). Needless to say, Greta has always been well attuned to artistic expression.

But it was music that nabbed her interest in those murky, angst-ridden adolescent years, allowing her the vulnerability of “putting herself out there” while still playing coy. So, she traded in diary pages for digital tracks on Bandcamp, and churned out songs at such a fast rate, and at such a young age, that she earned buzz as a “wunderkind” of the indie world.  In fact, it was this internet and audience obsession with her youth that fueled the song “Young” on her latest EP, Fit Me In

It's an apt title for a (mini) album that has such a precarious place in Frankie Cosmos' discography. It’s her first compilation that has Bayonet Records attached to it, and it's certainly a deviation from her earlier work. More electronic than instrumental, Kline surprised herself by pairing her voice with beats of the pop variety and liking it. In this way, Fit Me In acts as a strange gem: a precursor to the sophomore album Bayonet will be releasing this fall, which Kline claims was written and recorded with more of a rock-band intent.

Fit Me In then straddles Frankie Cosmos' lo-fi indie past and fleshed-out, studio-produced future. It’s a sparse collection of songs—only four total—which range from just under three minutes to a mere forty-nine seconds. Still, there’s something lulling and delicate about Kline’s dreamy voice layered on top of synths that makes her EP truly (excuse the overused expression) short and sweet.

Take "Sand," a quick-strumming micro-track that lasts less than a minute—an ode to young love that feels as ephemeral as New York City’s fleeting seasons. “You hold my hair right by the end / And we hold hands around the bend / Touch all the books outside The Strand / The oldest pages soft like sand.” Kline’s lilting vocals linger on despite the song’s brevity, and I wouldn’t be surprised if "Sand" one day accompanied a Sophia Coppola movie trailer—some pensive, nuanced portrait shot in warm hues with just a trace of melancholy.

Going through Fit Me In, it really is impressive to note how young Kline is. At twenty-one, she’s already conquered the streaming world (with nearly thirty independently-published albums), and her latest venture shows a confidence in simple tracks that shy away from formality. She has a sound that’s reminiscent of Karen O., if Karen O. fell down the rabbit hole, wide-eyed, into a Wonderland-esque soundscape. But, as I said before, this touch of whimsy comes with a self-aware wit, and to people like me—infatuated by her age and accomplishments—I can read the proverbial wink in her lyrics, “I heard about being young / But I’m not sure how it’s done.”