Greta Kline spent a few years living with her family and writing a mere 100 songs, turning her empathy anywhere from the navel to the moon, rendering it all warm, close and reflexively humorous. In music, everyone loves a teen sensation, but Kline has never been more fascinating than now, a decade into being one of the most prolific songwriters of her generation. She’s lodged in my mind amongst authors, other observational alchemists like Rachel Cusk or Sheila Heti, but she’s funnier, which is a charm endemic to musicians.
Meanwhile Frankie Cosmos, a rare, dwindling democratic entity called a band, had been on pandemic hiatus with no idea if they’d continue. In the openness of that uncertainty they met up, planning to hang out and play music together for the first time in nearly 500 days. There, whittling down the multitude of music to work with, they created Inner World Peace, a collection of Greta’s songs changed and sculpted by their time together. While Kline’s musical taste at the time was leaning toward aughts indie rock she’d loved as a teenager, keyboardist Lauren Martin and drummer Luke Pyenson cite “droning, meditation, repetition, clarity and intentionality,” as well as “‘70s folk and pop” as a reference for how they approached their parts. Bassist/guitarist Alex Bailey says that at the time he referred to it as their “ambient” or “psych” album. Somewhere between those textural elements and Kline’s penchant for concise pop, Inner World Peace finds its balance.