Greta Kline is 22-year-old singer & songwriter (whose stage name, Frankie Cosmos, is an homage to writer Frank O’Hara). Kline’s new album, Next Thing , is her second label release (although she has nearly 50 demo albums on Bandcamp), and it’s as unpretentious as she is. Full of punchy guitar lines and playful harmonies, the 15-track folk-pop LP is lighthearted and witty, yet deeply introspective, and even melancholy at times.
Q : When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
Greta Kline : It was kind of a gradual thing. When I was 14, I listened to lots of songwriters from Westchester, like Old Table, Kate Ferencz, and Aaron Maine [also known as Porches], and they made me realize I could record in my house, so I started doing that. But years went by before I had any kind of itch to perform. I played my first show when I was 17, and that was a big moment. I realized it was something I could keep doing.
Q : Did you have stage fright when you started performing?
Greta Kline : Yes. Playing in Porches really helped me overcome that. It wasn’t so personal, and I wasn’t the focus, so it really brought me out of my shell.
Q : You and Aaron recently stopped playing in each other’s bands—he played drums in Frankie Cosmos and you were the bassist in Porches. Do you miss Porches?
Greta Kline : It’s definitely going to be sad touring separately, but it’s also such a weight off—I appreciate not having to play multiple sets a night. When I first joined Porches, I felt like I needed to be in the band, because as Aaron’s girlfriend, I couldn’t be in the audience watching him play, especially because lots of the songs then were about his ex-girlfriends. But now I don’t feel like a groupie because I played in the band for three years, so I can watch my boyfriend serenade me, and it’s nice.
Q : How did you and Aaron first meet? Was it at that show?
Greta Kline : It was before that show. I was a big fan of his music, and I kind of forced us to meet…it was a little manipulative. [laughs] We had a mutual friend, Steve, and I kept asking him to introduce us. But a year passed between us meeting and us dating. Eventually he got texting on his phone, and he started texting me. And I sent him my music. Some time after that he called me and asked if I’d like to play a show, which was really nice of him. Totally took a chance on a fresh face!
Q : Any colleges you really liked?
Greta Kline : Plenty of them. The first day of the first Porches tour was at Bennington [College] and I loved it—you could tell special stuff was coming out of there. We also made a friend there who’s now the bassist of Porches.
Q : How do you write songs?
Greta Kline : I always have a notebook on me and I write lyrics in it a lot. When I’m walking around, I’ll whistle a melody into my phone [because I feel embarrassed singing on the street], and then write down lyrics. Then I spend a couple days to a couple weeks turning those vague, quick ideas into a song, and I bring it to the band when it’s finished. Then it’s very collaborative; we help write each other’s parts. Next Thing is also the first four-person band arrangement, which is exciting for me.