If you're not familiar with Frankie Rose, let me fill you in: Brooklyn-based Frankie Rose was an original member of garage rock staples Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls before going out on her own in 2009. She released her first full length album under the name Frankie Rose and the Outs in 2010. She's dropped the Outs, and Frankie Rose is now in.
Frankie Rose's new album Interstellar starts with title track 'Interstellar'. It begins with ambient synths and Frankie singing in her best Elizabeth Fraser croon before the song kicks into an all out drum extravaganza, complete with reverbed guitar and thick analog synth strings. 'Know Me' is up next with a heavy early 80s sound, a sound which plays a big part on this great new record. Think Head on the Door-era Cure with Debbie Harry pushing Robert Smith off to the side. It's a great track that'll make you long for Juno synths and Factory Records heyday. 'Gospel/Grace' is yet another tapestry of 80s nuggets, with heavy reverbed synths and drums, but with a very organic feel to it. 'Daylight Sky' is a gem of a track. If New Order, The Motels and Gary Numan had gotten together for a weekend recording session on the lower east side in 1981, it might've sounded like this great song. 'Pair of Wings' begins like a nuanced Zombies track with Dolores O'Riordan taking vocal duties. It's a gem of a song, slowly building with synths and timpani till it wavers off into an emotional coda.
With so many artists, the retro game can be a sink or swim sort of situation. You can take the past and make it your own. Put a new spin on an old record, if you will. Or you can flail helplessly amongst vintage gear and out dated fashion. Frankie Rose does the former with Interstellar. She takes influences like Cocteau Twins, the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees and New Order and makes them into an artistic statement. Frankie Rose has the perfect voice and songwriting chops to make this kind of record. It's a love letter to 80s new wave and alternative.
Frankie Rose has stepped out of the garage and is ready for her close-up.