April 24 — “Night Swim” by Frankie Rose

Frankie Rose

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Night Swim” by Frankie Rose (2012, from the album Interstellar).
Frankie Rose is a Brooklyn indie rocker who used to play drums in Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls. Since going on her own, she’s released two radically different but very good records. In those two bands, and on her first record, there wasn’t much focus on the production values. Everything was sort of muddy and dampened and mid-frequency. The new record, by contrast, is very bright and crisp, with a wide range of frequencies.

Interstellar, and her previous record Frankie Rose and The Outs are on Slumberland Records. I can’t say enough good things about that label. They cornered the market on American shoegaze in the mid-1990s, and after going dark for a couple of years, they reopened for business in 2006. Although they’re not as shoegaze-centric as they used to be, they’re still putting out some amazing records. They’re home to some of my favorites from the last couple of years. To name just a few from their current/active roster, Weekend, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Veronica Falls, Brave Irene, Big Troubles.

Today’s song reminds me a lot of early Cocteau Twins. Specifically, I’m reminded of the song “Wax and Wane” off the first record — Garlands. I don’t know if she was doing it on purpose or if I’m trying too hard to make a connection with that, but that’s what I’m getting. I’m not saying that the songs are soundalikes. Just that “Night Swim” reminds me of “Wax and Wane”.

It’s easy to hear the influence of Cocteau Twins all over this record. Other influential post-punk/goth bands from the late 1970s and 80s also have their fingerprints on this. The Cure, Siouxie and The Banshees.

This is that song.

There’s nothing to talk about with the lyrics.

I know you said ‘let me go’

and

Can you lay me up

That’s it. There are no other lyrics. That makes it even more Cocteauesque. Of course the way the vocals are treated in production add to it. There’s a lot of delay and her vocals are also layered, giving the impression of a harmony chorus. When she performs live, I think she has backup singers, but I’m pretty sure that she goes it alone in the studio. Whatever the case, it’s a great song and a breathtaking album.

Buy Interstellar directly through the Slumberland Records web store here. While you’re there, get the terrific Red EP by Weekend.

Frankie Rose is currently on a select North American tour that will take her from the Pacific Northwest of the United States, through the upper midwest and will end in the Great Lakes area. From there, she’ll go on an extensive tour of Europe and the UK.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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