Frankie Cosmos – Fit Me In EP

Frankie Cosmos' new EP, though short, shows the singer is willing to get out of her comfort zone while still writing catchy acoustic tunes.

RT: “Korean Food”, “Young”, “Sand”
RiYL: Porches, Eskimeux, R.L. Kelly, Elvis Depressedly

 The direction that many musicians seem to be taking in this modern day and age is one that reverts backwards to a simpler, more fun time; the 1980s, and Frankie Cosmos’ new EP Fit Me In is not an exception to this ever growing trend. Although the musical style takes from an era past, the theme of the 4-song EP seems to wade in the emotional pool of an early 20s age – 21 years to be exact, the age at which Frankie Cosmos’ Greta Kline currently stands. The whole while, Fit Me In has the listener submerged in keyboard synths holding out chords for entire measures in a slow, strange, pitchy vibrato, enough to confuse a brain’s sense of balance. Kline plays to that sense well, however, letting the atmosphere come into itself (rather than forcing the listener to become confused as other artists may tend to do). Canned snares from the obviously electric drum kit drive the album in a boxy way, following the downbeats and upbeats in a non-syncopated way, signature of the new 1980s / 2010s trend. All the songs in Fit Me In are very short, not unlike the other songs displayed in Kline’s impressive discography of 40+ EP’s, many containing 2-3 minute tunes.

The EP opens with the most recognizable song out of the 4, “Korean Food”. Though branded by the typical, long held synth chords, they start off dissonant – creating an initial discomfort. However, this strangeness is molded gradually into a romantic, beautiful harmony reminiscent to your first love. A sweet, dulce bass compliments the dreamy vocals while the keyboard dances with Kline’s youthful voice, melody matched in slow steps like a high school dance. Kline coos “I feel the most beautiful when you look at me”, lines that could make any romantic melt, and becomes a poet to your blush: “you’re too handsome to be drawn”. The main criticism of the opening song is that the vocal melody has a weird, uninterrupted phrasing as Kline’s voice leaps and drops in strange progressions of the scale.

“Young” is perhaps the cutest song on the EP, with a steady bass line matching the steady electronic beat equipped with super kawaii hand claps. Kline contradicts and questions her ripe age of 21 with sarcastic mentions of youth: “I hear about being young, but I’m not sure how it’s done/thought I heard a mumble/ something about fun”. However, the millennial crooning is washed away as “O Contest Winner” comes in. “O Contest Winner’s” lazy synths takes the listener to the grocery store her mom took her to as a child. As the listener holds her mom’s hand walking through the dairy section, the vocal melody drags out a “O Contest Winner”, giving the listener an urge to beg her mom a ‘can we leave, now?’. The harmonies behind Kline’s sad crooning create an echo that brings images of a VCR tape recorded sunset. The pitchy vibrato of the never ending synth chords pulsate through the hypothetical fluorescent light washed grocery store.

The ending track “Sand” is perhaps the shortest song off the EP, and is highly reminiscent of 1980s English rock bands. The way that the bass walks around the cheesy, electronic drum beat seems to take heavily from rhythm sections of artists like The Smiths. The keyboard strikes the listener with a colorful, pitchy vibrato-ed notes in the chorus, which is very obviously different from the elongated synth chords of the other three songs in the EP. The vocal melody is a little bit too similar to the verse of Modern English’s “I Melt With You”, but the poetry in “Sand” keeps the song interesting, as cryptic as “I wanna kiss your stupid thumb” can be.
Frankie Cosmos’s new EP Fit Me In serves as a sort of “sampler” to the anticipated full length album that’s planned to be released in 2016. If that’s the case, Fit Me In does show promise in continuing the use of borrowing from the past with a personal twist that is relatable in both good and bad ways. Although all the songs are quite short in the EP, listeners will definitely be chilling out to Fit Me In for a long time.