As you probably already know, Frankie Rose has a notable startup track record. With a hand in Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts and Dum Dum Girls, the Brooklyn-based songwriter/drummer is something of a lucky charm in indie-pop. (Maybe she deserves a spot at TechStars.) “I don’t want to be married to any project ever,” Rose told the New York Press of her tendency to move on. “It could happen where I quit my own band with my own name.”
She hasn’t done that just yet, and in fact she’s putting even more focus on her name. Her new album, Interstellar (due out 2/21 on Slumberland Records), is credited solely to Frankie Rose, rather than her previous outing as Frankie Rose and the Outs. Next week she will release the album’s first single, “Know Me.” With Johnny Marr-style guitar riffs and crisp stick work, it’s a chilly and nostalgic welcome to the New Year, and occasion to spin through Frankie Rose’s brief but impressive back catalog. Below, some highlights…
Frankie Rose and the Outs, “Little Brown Haired Girls” (Frankie Rose and the Outs, 2010)
With slow builds and shimmery crescendos, Rose and her band of possible brunettes sing of being alone and away from home. Like much of the Outs’ debut there’s a wistful undercurrent, suggesting all the raucous fun had on the road sometimes doesn’t compare to strumming your guitar in an empty bedroom. In the meantime, those endless sing-alongs and walls of reverb provide plenty of comfort.
Dum Dum Girls, “Jail La La” (I Will Be, 2010)
With the West Coast neo-girl-group, led by fellow pop polymath Dee Dee, Rose —a Cali transplant — alternates needlepoint precision with gleeful thrash, making her a perfect foil for this catchy, and slightly perverse, tale of teenage rebellion.
Crystal Stilts, “Love Is a Wave” (single, 2009)
Crystal Stilts shed the gloom like wooly winter layers with this surf-riding single. Rose’s bashing backbeat is a good match for the band’s rhythm-heavy guitar and Brad Hargett’s echo-chamber vocals. It’s a curious flavor of bubblegum, but one that never loses its sweetness.
Vivian Girls, “Where Do You Run To” (Vivian Girls, 2008)
A highlight of the trio’s punky debut, this soft smasher gathers the girls’ harmonies under a laundry pile of reverb. Wherever love is running, the Vivian Girls can’t help but enjoy their reverie. Heartbreak? Never heard of it.
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