One thing you hear a lot from successful artists is the importance of making work: Make work. Make lots of it. Make it every day — sketch it, scribble it, jot it down on a napkin. From all that work your voice is going to emerge, and if you’re lucky it may just be awesome. Greta Kline — who performs as Frankie Cosmos — is lucky. And her debut studio album, Zentropy, is awesome, and it’s the result of making tons and tons of work.
Kline is just 19, yet over the last few years she’s released more than 40 albums (!!) comprising hundreds of songs, which she posts for free (sample album titles: Why Am I Underwater?, Jared Leto Can’t Read). Where many of those tracks were just Kline and a guitar (maybe less), Zentropy is a studio album with a full band — crunchy guitars, punchy bass, lo-fi drums, harmonies (provided in some cases by Kline’s squeeze Aaron Maine); no song is longer than three minutes. The album sounds like Kline’s song-sketches stitched together like Frankenstein body parts, and the joy of Zentropy is watching the results stomp around clumsily. “Busses” has a punk-funk beat that sounds like LCD Soundsystem if you pushed it down a flight of stairs; “Owen” features an ecstatically yelled chorus. Kline sings about her brother Owen, her dad the fireman. Honest, clumsy, painfully endearing — Zentropy is an impressive bit of work. If we’re lucky, Frankie has another one just around the corner.