We were all knocked out by the Frankie Rose and the Outs album in 2010; the effortlessness of its gorgeous girl-pop mantras, the intimate immensity of its Spector-esque walls of reverb, the beauty of a song sung sweetly over the most graceful two-chord vamps. But are we ready for the new Frankie Rose? Interstellar is a revelation, an album that floats free of its maker's history—time spent with Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls and Crystal Stilts—and offers the listener something strangely other, as alien as it is familiar, as compelling as it is enchanting. Talking with Rose about the record, it's clear she was itching for a new start. The first big indication: production by Le Chev, remixer supreme (for Lemonade, Narcisse, Passion Pit and Rose's own "Candy") and ensemble member of Fischerspooner, etc. "I wanted [Interstellar] to be totally different, and I knew I had to work with someone who would lend fresh ideas.... I wanted to make a particular record and I knew Le Chev would be the one who could help me do it." So, gone is reverb as the holy route to pop-grandeur, scaling a wall of teenage tears, and in its place is the confident swagger of a singer and auteur building the simplest of pop moves into aching, full-blown melodramas, grabbing hold of an emotion and riding its darker waves. "Had We Had It" spins the sweetest sugar from chords that ascend into the firmament—a heavenly, palatial blur. "Gospel / Grace" rumbles with passion, a New Order-esque one-finger guitar figure leading the listener into the depths mapped by the chorus. "Apples for the Sun" is breathtaking, with Rose singing out across a lone piano, before a glorious web of voice and organ pirouettes into the air, an arbor of pleasure connecting the verse with its instrumental shadow, a coda slowly slipping from view. A lot of Interstellar seems to be about disappearing into, or finding and reveling in, this kind of imaginary zone, something Rose confirms: "The whole record is about dreaming of some 'other' place." And as the audience drifts into the heartbreaking closer "The Fall," which floats out to sea on a lunar-aquatic cello riff that's pure Arthur Russell, they're ready to conquer those other places, too, to let Rose guide them out of the album's spell and land them back in the sensual world, slightly altered, adrift and in awe.
item # 32943