Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Question/Reason” by Frankie Rose from the 2013 album Herein Wild on Fat Possom.
Although she began her career as a drummer in a string of lo-fi and punk bands, Frankie Rose has used her solo career to shift her musical focus to a more dreamy and layered take on her D.I.Y. roots. First drawing attention outside of Brooklyn for her role as the drummer in Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, and Crystal Stilts, Rose began her solo career in 2009 with the raucous lo-fi single “Thee Only One”. However, she increasingly began adopting a more ornate, shimmering approach with her music, first with her 2010 debut album Frankie Rose and the Outs, then with the Echo and the Bunnymen-meets-cassette culture glimmer of 2012’s excellent Interstellar. Her latest album, 2013’s Herein Wild finds Frankie experimenting with even more elaborate arrangements and crystalline tones while retaining her jangling pop melodies.
Bursting with tremulous light, “Question/Reason” is one of the more straightforward tracks on Herein Wild, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Built around Frankie’s now-signature style of insistent drum patterns (although programmed electronically rather than played acoustically), her gliding guitar and mellifluous vocals ride the rhythm section’s pulse with a cool urgency. “You don’t need to tell me/what’s the reason why”, sings Rose in the chorus, barbing the lyric with alluring nonchalance rather than the perhaps expected defiance. But considering a restless artistic heart like Frankie Rose’s – she’s gone from playing drums in basement bands to recording a string section in a church in five years – it’s easy to see why she’d much rather move on to the next question than sticking around to find the original answer.
Frankie Rose will continue to tour behind Herein Wild in 2014, including a leg supporting White Lies that stops at the Showbox at the Market on Friday, February 7th. Get tickets and more info about that all ages show here, keep up with Frankie on her Facebook and website, and watch the video for the Interstellar cut “Know Me” below.