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Cage Tropical — ‘redemption record’

Cage Tropical — ‘redemption record’

August 12
13:52 2017

Frankie Rose

Cage Tropical

(Slumberland Records)

“I’m wasting my life here,” Frankie Rose sings at the start of Cage Tropical. The downcast lyric refers to the New Yorker’s relocation to Los Angeles where her prior life in various Brooklyn indie bands (Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls, Beverly) led with grim inevitability to a new career in catering.

Her new album, made after returning to New York, is her self-styled “redemption record”. That implies a rather earnest and self-involved affair — but happily the end result is not.

The “wasting my life” complaints in opening track “Love in Rockets” are set to warm guitar chimes and vibrant rhythms, building to a spacey reverie suggestive of escape. “Everything you know is a lie,” she sighs in “Red Museum”, a self-doubting sentiment set in richly layered dream-pop, evoking feelings of sweet surrender not anxiety.

“Trouble” sums up the album’s sure-footed approach. “Sometimes I want to run away,” Rose sings, her voice liberally treated with reverb, as though losing its shape. Meanwhile a motorik beat and handclaps drive the song onwards with irresistible certainty. “Trouble follows you,” she choruses, author of music that does its best to outrun the past.

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