Frankie Rose Restarts At Turbo Speed On Herein Wild
Fans bleed for Frankie Rose. Sure, a zillion artists have that story—your small headlining tour includes a stop in the middle of nowhere, where three people come to see you play, one of whom cherishes your album like a religious text. But how many can say that devotee ignored a dripping head wound to meet her?
"There really was a bleeding guy once, in San Diego," she says on a Friday evening earlier this month, over a beer on the sun-sizzled patio at Roberta's in Bushwick, around the corner from her apartment. "He was bleeding from his forehead, but he made me sign his shirt with a permanent marker. . . . It was kind of awkward, because he took it off first, and there really was an open gash on his head."
There's something about Rose that inspires that kind of urgency in her audience. Maybe it's that she's played in not one but three influential, über-buzzy lo-fi garage acts out of Brooklyn—Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, and Crystal Stilts—starting in the mid-'00s. It could be that, until recently, she's been signed to Slumberland Records, a dream-poppy DIY label with a devoted fanbase and artists including Sic Alps and the Softies. Maybe it's how critically celebrated Interstellar, her last album (and second as a solo artist), was among online indie media outlets like Pitchfork, Stereogum, and SPIN.
But if you've ever read an interview with the synth sorceress—or better yet, met her in person—you might begin to suspect it's how, after every project and every record, Rose seems poised to quit the music game entirely, and then does the complete opposite, rallying and one-upping herself in the process.
That's exactly what's happened with her third album, Herein Wild (out September 24), an addictively dynamic 10-song set that acts as a foil in many ways to its ethereal predecessor, but this time it's moving twice as fast.
The album almost didn't happen. After an endless 2012 tour across Europe and North America, Rose thought she was squeezing the last drops out of what had been a decent run.
"I had a deep disappointed feeling," she told one reporter this summer. "I didn't think anyone would want [another record]. It felt over. Most people have an existential crisis here or there, and I definitely had one; I just wasn't sure if being a musician was for me."
Then, the counter: All of a sudden, Oxford, Mississippi's storied Fat Possum Records (Black Keys, Jay Reatard, MellowHype) was offering Rose a bunch more money and resources to record a third solo album, provided she could do it on a strict—and fast—deadline. The fates had spoken, so she said goodbye to Slumberland, hired brand-new management and publicity, booked time both at a private studio in Fort Greene and in a small church on the Upper West Side, and went right back to work.