November 25, 2022

Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos talks about poetry, house shows and Project Pabst | Arts & Culture


Greta Kline, also known by her stage name Frankie Cosmos, started posting music online at the age of 15. In a strangely similar way to Car seat headrest Will Toledo, Kline has gone from posting bedroom recordings to to tour with an acclaimed band signed on a major independent label. Now, in some ways, she comes full circle.

Kline performs at MusicfestNW presents Project Pabst in Portland on Sunday, August 27, with one of her idols, Beck. She cites her 1994 album “One Foot in the Grave” as one of the reasons she started playing music. Although she is delighted to share a scene with him, she’s not as keen on drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon as other festival-goers might be.

“I don’t drink, so it’s really funny playing a beer-themed thing,” Kline said. “I’m just going to drink some water over there – drink a lot of water.”

Kline developed his sound on the DIY scene in New York and Westchester County. She recently signed with iconic Seattle Sub Pop Records for her upcoming album after 2016 “Next thing.”

On Frankie Cosmos’ 2016 album, “Next Thing,” Kline sings in a monotonous, calm tone – her voice hovering just above the tongue-in-cheek lyrics about love, 20s, and the feelings that come with change. “One day in bravery / I will embody all grace and lightness,” she sings on “Embody”. “Everyone understands me / but I wish no one understood me. “

A former major in English and Creative Writing at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University, Kline writes poetry in addition to his music. Although her lyrics are full of puns and simple pictures, the artist separates her literary pursuits from her songwriting. Kline behaves like a poet – both internally motivated and interested in how the world works at the same time.

Kline tried to turn poems into songs and songs into poems, but said it felt weird to do so. She noted that her lyrics are influenced by certain chords and that she writes the words with the music in mind. With poetry, she reflects on how the poem will sound when read aloud with nothing else behind it.

“Performing is such an external thing, but for me the writing part, which is the most vital part for me, is very introspective,” she said. “I think a lot about the fact that you can never really fully communicate everything you write.”

One of Kline’s favorites poets is Elisabeth Bishop. The Massachusetts-born Pulitzer Prize winner is known for her descriptions of the natural world and her exploration of grief in her work. Kline loves Bishop’s work because she can read Bishop’s poems multiple times without ever losing interest. “It’s always a feat,” she said.

In concert, Kline feels vulnerable while trying to connect with an audience. Recent festival concerts have caused him some nervousness. “I feel like I remember every show so well. Funny – it always carries a lot of weight with me, ”Kline said.

Although her band is getting more and more popular day by day, Kline’s favorite performances remain the cramped little house shows that launched her career. Her rapidly growing audience may make it difficult for her to perform so many house shows, but she still aims to perform at least two a year.

“Just being on the floor, with no stage, feels good,” she said.

Although she only drinks water at the festival, Kline is thrilled to connect with an audience, even though it may be larger than the one she is used to. “We just have fun and try to make everyone have fun,” Kline said. “If they don’t, they don’t. If they do, they do.

Frankie Cosmos plays MusicfestNW presents Project Pabst on August 27 from 2:20 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the Captain Pabst stage. The festival takes place August 26-27 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland. For more information and tickets, check out the festival website at

Check out Frankie Cosmos’ “Outside With The Cuties” below:

Follow Sararosa on Twitter @srosiedosie.