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Several things happened before a warm day when I met the four members of

Frankie Cosmos in a Brooklyn studio to begin making their album. Greta Kline
spent a few years living with her family and writing a mere 100 songs, turning
her empathy anywhere from the navel to the moon, rendering it all warm,
close and reflexively humorous. In music, everyone loves a teen sensation,
but Kline has never been more fascinating than now, a decade into being one
of the most prolific songwriters of her generation. She’s lodged in my mind
amongst authors, other observational alchemists like Rachel Cusk or Sheila
Heti, but she’s funnier, which is a charm endemic to musicians.
Meanwhile Frankie Cosmos, a rare, dwindling democratic entity called a
band, had been on pandemic hiatus with no idea if they’d continue. In the
openness of that uncertainty they met up, planning to hang out and play
music together for the first time in nearly 500 days. There, whittling down the
multitude of music to work with, they created Inner World Peace, a collection
of Greta’s songs changed and sculpted by their time together. While Kline’s
musical taste at the time was leaning toward aughts indie rock she’d loved as
a teenager, keyboardist Lauren Martin and drummer Luke Pyenson cite
“droning, meditation, repetition, clarity and intentionality,” as well as “‘70s
folk and pop” as a reference for how they approached their parts.
Bassist/guitarist Alex Bailey says that at the time he referred to it as their
“ambient” or “psych” album. Somewhere between those textural elements
and Kline’s penchant for concise pop, Inner World Peace finds its balance.
The first order of business upon setting up camp in Brooklyn’s Figure 8
studios was to project giant colorful slides the band had made for each track.
Co-producing with Nate Mendelsohn, my Shitty Hits Recording partner, we
aimed for FC’s aesthetic idiosyncrasies to shine. The mood board for
“Magnetic Personality” has a neon green and black checkerboard, a screen
capture of the game Street Fighter with “K.O.” in fat red letters, and a cover
of Mad Magazine that says “Spy Vs. Spy! The Top Secret Files.” On tracks like
“F.O.O.F.” (Freak Out On Friday), “Fragments” and “Aftershook,” the group
are at their most psychedelic and playful, interjecting fuzz solos, bits of
percussion, and other sonically adventurous ear candy. An internal logic
strengthens everything, and in their proggiest moments, Frankie Cosmos are
simply a one-take band who don’t miss. When on Inner World Peace they
sound wildly, freshly dierent, it may just be that they’re coming deeper into
their own.
Inner World Peace excels in passing on the emotions it holds. When in the
towering “Empty Head” Kline sings of wanting to let thoughts slide away, her
voice is buoyed on a bed of synths and harmonium as tranquility abounds.
When her thoughts become hurried and full of desire, so does the band, and
she leaps from word to word as if unable to contain them all. As a group, they
carry it all deftly, and with constant regard for Kline’s point of view.
Says Greta, “To me, the album is about perception. It’s about the question of
“who am I?” and whether or not the answer matters. It’s about quantum time,
the possibilities of invisible worlds. The album is about finding myself floating
in a new context. A teenager again, living with my parents. An adult, choosing
to live with my family in an act of love. Time propelled us forward, aged us,
and also froze. If you don’t leave the house, who are you to the world? Can you
take the person you discover there out with you?”
- Katie Von Schleicher

Loser edition

1. Abigail
2. Aftershook
3. Fruit Stand
4. Magnetic Personality
5. Wayne
6. Sky Magnet
7. A Work Call
8. Empty Head
9. Fragments
10. Prolonging Babyhood
11. One Year Stand
12. F.O.O.F.
13. Street View
14. Spare The Guitar
15. Heed The C

Regular price $24.99