My Favorite Album: Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos on Connie Converse’s “How Sad, How Lovely” | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024  

My Favorite Album: Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos on Connie Converse’s “How Sad, How Lovely”

"[Connie Converse] disappeared in 1974 and nobody knows where she went."

Mar 04, 2020 Connie Converse Photography by Jackie Lee Young. Bookmark and Share

Listening to albums all the way through wasn’t a necessity with my generation but I listen to full albums now more than I ever have. I think maybe because now I make albums and I think of them as full albums a little bit more each time. I’m also more interested in seeing how other artists do that.

To be honest, I don’t have an all time favorite album but when I started thinking about something I can always revisit and that I like all the way through, How Sad, How Lovely by Connie Converse came to mind. It’s an album I’ve loved for over eight years now, so that counts for something, that it hasn’t faded for me. Also, I wanted to name something that people probably don’t know so they can learn about it. She’s an older musician from the ‘50s but it doesn’t sound like it. If you said this was a contemporary album was made by a person who likes a ton of different modern music I would believe you. She disappeared in 1974 and nobody knows where she went. She didn’t have any music released until somebody played a reel to reel of hers on the radio in the early 2000s. People were obsessed with it and reached out to others who had her recordings to put out this album. It’s maybe even a recording of a live performance; it sounds like she’s playing in someone’s kitchen for a group of friends.

My friend Emma gave me a copy because she’s a thoughtful music loving friend. We’ve exchanged a lot of music and we have really different staples that are complementary. She showed me Sam Cooke, and Wilco and I showed her stuff like Guided by Voices and Moldy Peaches. I would basically listen to this album every night as I was going to bed and I’d fall asleep around half-way through, so I know the first 10 songs really well. It’s really chill, quiet folk music. Just guitar and vocals but she’s just this really amazing songwriter. I like to focus on the lyrics because they’re like perfect poems. I’m excited for you that you don’t know it. That’s also what makes a favorite album, when you get excited that someone doesn’t know it.

What your favorite album is also depends on where you are in your life too. If you had asked me a year from now, I might pick the Michael Hurley album, Hi Fi Snock Uptown. Another weird, reclusive person making folk music. That’s the best. More recently, I wanted to shout out this band Nice Try. Their [self-titled] album from last year is really amazing all the way through. Madeline [Robinson] has a really specific voice. As I was thinking about this, I was listening and reading the lyrics as it went along, which made it even more special. It’s one of those albums where you keep hearing new things. But I wouldn’t say any one album is my favorite of all time. You go through phases and there will always be new ones.

(Greta Kline is the singer, songwriter, and guitarist for her band Frankie Cosmos. Their fourth full-length, Close It Quietly, is a 2019 release on Sub Pop, their second album for the label. Portions of Greta Kline’s conversation have been abridged and edited for structure and flow.)

[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 66 of Under the Radar’s print magazine, which is out now. This is its debut online. For the issue we interviewed musicians and actors about their all-time favorite album.]

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