We were all knocked out by the Frankie Rose and the Outs album from 2010, the effortlessness of its gorgeous girl-pop mantras, the intimate immensity of its Spector-esque walls of reverb, the beauty of a song sung sweetly over the most graceful two-chord vamps. But are you ready for the new Frankie Rose? – her transformation into a wholly other kind of pop, the reverie and revelation of "Interstellar," an album that floats free of its maker’s history – time spent with Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, Crystal Stilts, and creator of one of the most breathlessly compelling girl-pop albums of the past few years – and offers the listener something strangely other, as alien as it is familiar, as compelling as it is enchanting.
Talking with Frankie about the record, it’s clear she was itching for a new start. The first big indication – production by Le Chev, remixer supreme (for Lemonade, Narcisse, Passion Pit, and Frankie’s own “Candy”), an ensemble member of Fischerspooner, etc. “We recorded the record in a private studio dubbed The Thermometer Factory in Park Slope. I wanted this record to be totally different and in so doing I knew I had to work with someone who would lend fresh ideas and know how to make sounds that I wouldn't know how to make. I wanted to make a particular record and I knew Le Chev would be the one who could help me do it.”
So, out with the reverb of the Frankie Rose and the Outs, and in with something altogether more glam, glittering, shivering. On "Interstellar" Frankie takes the lessons learned with her debut album – like reverb as the holy route to pop-grandeur, scaling a wall of teenage tears – fully digests, and transfers those skills into the brave new world mapped out by ten new songs. In its place is the confident swagger of a singer and auteur fully aware of how to build the simplest of pop moves into aching, full-blown melodramas, how to grab hold of an emotion and ride its darker waves. “I always have a big picture in mind,” Frankie reflects. “I knew I wanted a HUGE sounding record. Big highs, big lows, and clean. There is no fuzz on this record. I knew I wanted to make a streamlined, spacious record with big choruses that sometimes referenced 80s pop.” But that referencing never swamps the melodies: this record isn’t a retro trip. If anything, it liberates sounds familiar from that decade and gives them new context, breathes life into clay golems of sound that too often become basic, pre-set triggers.
On "Interstellar," Frankie Rose goes epic, goes widescreen.
Out February 21 on Slumberland Records in US, Canada, Asia, Oceania.
Out March 19 on Memphis Industries in Europe.