Tag Archives: Vivian Girls

Campus Connections: Stellar Interstellar

22 Feb

So for those of you who don’t read my facebook, I’m planning on starting another blog for specifically West Chester people. So I Can’t Dance will be getting a sister. Or brother, idk, sister is used more often. Anyways, I’ll keep you posted on that development.

The reason I have brought that up is because there is someone here at Dub C that is significantly more educated on the indie scene than I am, which is nice for a change around here. He’s even got me going on Pitchfork…… And even though I’m still a loyal Sterogum follower, I have found that Pitchfork makes it MUCH easier to learn about albums. So the album on the top of the list is Interstellar by Frankie Rose.

Now Frankie Rose, a key member of Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, and Crystal Stilits had tried going solo, but with a backing and under the title Frankie Rose and the Outs, which wasn’t exactly what she wanted. So she dropped the backing and subsequently the last half of the name and is now on her own as just Frankie Rose, and making much better music.

The record starts off with the title track “Interstellar” which literally puts the “stellar” into the name. The dreamy, spacey, smooth intro does not prepare you for the sudden burst of energy as the song gets to the meat. The harmony, though simple, is highly effective. The infectious “oh oh oh” that is the chorus is effective. It is evident that Frankie has traded in her punk adolescence and has promoted herself to twee-adolescence, which on paper seems like nothing, but yet is a big change. The twee is still even evident in “Pair of Wings”, as her voice just adds soothing layer after soothing layer.

Tracks like “Gospel/Grace” delves more into the pop aspect of this album, throughout the album Frankie’s voice just layers over each track like mist, with endless reverb to match. The track sounds like what Rubblebucket was trying to do but with better production quality. Tracks like “Had We Had It” has aspects of “L’Homme” by Rubblebucket, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Frankie asked Kalmia Traver to collab on her sound, it’s eerily similar.

Another change in style is her change to 80’s heavy synth and drums, displayed in “Know Me”. The main line will most certainly get into your head. Honestly, it’s like a John Hughes movie where either the main character is moping around after upsetting the one they’re crushing on, or the credits…..either way it’s super 80’s, and for anyone who knows me, I like that. The typical 80’s electronic drumbeat comes back up in “Daylight Sky”.

In conclusion, Frankie has stepped out of her punk lo-fi days and tried supplying a clean cut polished product. In that effort I feel that the album grows a tad mundane. She stacks her 3 best songs at the beginning of the album, with only “Apples for the Sun” to contribute to the last half. The rest of the album is good in its own right, but those four songs are the key tracks to the album and could have been spaced better. There are complaints that this album is a lot of the same sound with not much variation. In other words, it was too much dream synth for them to handle. Though that can be a deterring factor, I believe that to impressive on the count that Frankie knew what sound she wanted to create, and put out a whole album of that sound. She didn’t try to appeal to as wide of an audience as she could, she put out a product and said, “hope you like it!”. Some people won’t, most people will.

I leave you with tracks, and a video,

enjoy!

Interstellar – Frankie Rose

Frankie Rose – Gospel/Grace from Slumberland Records on Vimeo.

Tyler