Night School Records (label)
13 March 2023 (released)
13 March 2023
After a six-year absence former Crystal Stilt-skinner, Beverley sister and ex-Vivian and Dum-Dum Girl Frankie Rose returns with a wonderful new album that acts as a necessary sonic and sensory corrective to these bleak times of seemingly relentless no hope and all despair, where persistent oppressive miseries and consistent depressive histories are looped over and over again. The same old scene there, been had and done over … again.
Rose herself has declared it to be a salve to these eternal external woes and a cleansing call to focus internally on the small cogs that (em)power the greater whole.
Her last releases were perfectly in tune with the new-wave alt-pop of the 1980s, 2017 saw both the bubblegum-bop ‘Cage Tropical’ and also a track by track cover of The Cure’s 1980 gothic-rock template ‘Seventeen Seconds’.
New album, Rose’s fifth is called ‘Love as Projection’, a decade-long project that’s been brewing and bursting to make an appearance. Here it is at last. This new enterprise derives and divines inspiration from that decade’s retro-futurism and gleeful technological travels which when melded with lush post-modern-textperimentation aims straight for the head and the heart of those minds that matter. Thinktellectualism for the soul.
The ten tracks range from bliss-tering melancholic dreampop to body-popping 80s electro-sheen etherealities and creating a place where soft-rockist rough-riffage seamlessly blends with cinematic ambient surrounds. This is epitomised by the outstanding Giorgio Moroderish ‘Saltwater Girl’. A call and response ballad where echo-laden voices traverse one another, dialogue cutting across and fading away, a cryptic cri de cœur.
Opener ‘Sixteen Ways’ is all synth-etiquette in the vein of Ladytron, equally magic, mystery, moody, majestic. ‘Anything’ updates Voice of the Beehive’s day-glo pop-smarts.
‘Sleeping night and day’ channels Kate Bush’s ground-breaking triptych albums ‘Never for Ever’/‘The Dreaming/The Hounds of Love’ and displays the same creative Fairlight expressions, uphill travels and downhill travails, its nursey-rhyme chorus deeper than you think.
On ‘Love as Projection’ Frankie Rose clears out the psychic clutter, expels the spiritual detritus and beseeches us all to do the same. So do it.