Frankie Rose bursts onto the scene last year with their amazing release, Interstellar, and continues on their cosmic travels with this years Herein Wild. Although the variables have been tweaked a bit, the formula is still basically the same. By building on their strong foundation of synth heavy dream-pop, the Frankie Rose crew takes us in a whole different direction.
While Interstellar was steeped heavily in synth filled dream-pop, Herein Wild adds a bit more of an organic element to the sound of Frankie Rose. Gone are the joyous and upbeat sounds of “Interstellar” and “Daylight Sky”. It may be the harshest change between the two albums, but it certainly doesn’t take away from the strengths of Herein Wild. Frankie Rose is often related to the cosmic plain (perhaps perpetuated by naming an album Interstellar) and while their debut was all about the fun of whipping through space at whiz-bang progress, the sophomore effort reminds us how lonely and desolate it can be while doing so. Most invoking of this tone is the track “Cliffs as High”, a stark and quiet single in comparison to anything else released by the band. It gives an idea of what Frankie Rose could do without the dream-pop formula they used so well. The string arrangement is a nice addition to the familiar sounds. The track also feels like the first song group leader Frankie worked totally on her own. It is mostly Frankie on her own with a minimalistic accompaniment. The song calls upon influences of Bjork, and could be looked at as a further progression of where they are going as a group.
For fans of Interstellar there is still plenty of enjoyment to be had here listening to the new collection of songs. Don’t be worried about the change in pace on the record, it is still a wonderfully crafted album that takes away the sense of exploration and opts to instead take a moment for self-reflection. As with “Cliffs as High” the record often feels like Frankie alone drifting listlessly. Also this time around instead of singing of blazing across the interstellar highway, the travel is a little slower to take some time for reflection. As on “Sorrow” Frankie brings up plenty of things that would be considered full of sorrow. However, instead of facings these things head on with action, Frankie asks “Why? Don’t ask me why.” It is not an uncaring or callous answer, rather a blunt statement of what could be wrong. There is a lot of sorrow everywhere, yet we rarely know why. While Interstellar was the innocence of birth, youth, and exploration, Herein Wild is the realization of adulthood and the all encompassing lifestyle and questions that come along with that. It is certainly a grown up and darker record, but by no means it is worth skipping out of fear of growing up.