At the end of the last decade, Frankie Rose was best known as the drummer for different bands on the Brooklyn scene (Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts and Dum Dum Girls). She wrote “Where Do You Run To”, probably the best track by the former, proof of her musical skills. Obviously, she knew that from the start - and in a few months she went from being a “simple” session musician to forming her own band, Frankie Rose And The Outs. Their self-titled debut album came out in 2010 and featured a sound similar to that of her former bands, i.e. Girl-Pop, with touches of Garage and Phil Spector tributes in every corner. Now she has decided to get rid of The Outs and sign her new album, “Interstellar”, with her own name. A reinvention that goes beyond the pseudonym, as the New Yorker has given her sound a good twist.
Unlike her former colleagues in Dum Dum Girls - who called upon Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes, a producer close to their own sound for their second album “Only In Dreams” - Frankie Rose went with Le Chev, the bassist of Fischerspooner and a ferocious remixer (Lemonade, Passion Pit and Rose herself). The choice was a considered one - Frankie was determined to make her new effort sound different, and she thought he was better suited to the job than she was. We don't know if she wanted a change of scenery or to give some oxygen to a genre that is close to reaching its expiration date, but the truth is: she chose well.
One of the styles the new Frankie Rose is embracing is Eighties Pop - as could be expected, considering the producer she chose. A good example is “Gospel / Grace”. But make no mistake, the background vocals, so typical of girl-groups, are still there. The guitars on highlight tracks “Know Me” and “Night Swim”- in debt to both New Order and The Smiths - are reminiscent of other contemporary bands like Wild Nothing and Craft Spells. “Daylight Sky” is closer to synthy Dream-Pop, in the vein of the recent work of Twin Sister, while on “Moon In My Mind” she goes epic - with a bass meant to thump on your chest. The intense title track, though it starts in an Ambient and Cosmic fashion (reminiscent of Orbital's “Belfast”), quickly kicks off with a frantic rhythm carried by a well-played drum.
As on “Frankie Rose And The Outs”, there's also room for more peaceful sounds. “Pair Of Wings” features some ethereal melodies and a spot-on sense of atmosphere in the spirit of the album title. Furthermore, on “Apples For The Sun”, Rose sounds sparser than ever, with the piano as the main accompaniment. However, unlike on its predecessor, these moments aren't the weak points on the album - but rather complementary to the more danceable parts. “The Fall”, the impressive closing track, is extremely thrilling, with the guitars and cellos creating a hybrid of the pop vibrations of The Raveonettes and the classicism of Arthur Russell (remember, this is the same girl who covered “You Can Make Me Feel Bad” on her debut album). As a consequence, Frankie Rose takes a step forward - finding a place among the new generations, with a notable album that moves away from girl-group clichés.