After spending years as a major presence in Brooklyn’s thriving music scene, Frankie Roserelocated to her familial home of Los Angeles for 18 months with the intention of establishing yet another moment in her storied indie rock métier. Gradually, she found herself short on sleep, funds and optimism. "I moved to LA, drama ensued and I ended up on a catering truck. I was like, how can this be my life after being a touring musician and living off of music. I had really lost my way and I thought I was totally done." Through sleepless nights of listening to broadcaster Art Bell’s paranormal-themed archives, Frankie’s thoughts had turned to "who am I, I’m not cut out for this business, it’s not for me." She continues, "I was literally in my room in L.A., not knowing how I was going to get out. But out of it all, I just decided to keep making music, because it is what I love and what I do – regardless of the outcome." Towards the end of her time spent in Los Angeles, Frankie reached out to Jorge Elbrecht (Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, Violens) and began sketching what became the basic outline of what felt like a new album. Then, rather fortuitously, Frankie ended up back in Brooklyn with the realization that "in the end, I’m on my own. I have to do these things on my own." The months that ensued meant basically working with no budget and finding ways to record in-between days. This time enabled Frankie to experiment musically with a variety of people that ultimately changed the way she worked. "I got a lot of input from people like Dave Harrington (Darkside), who was helpful reconstructing the songs, adding dynamics and changing up the rhythms." The result of this existential odyssey is Cage Tropical, Frankie’s 4th album. It is awash with vintage synths, painterly effects pedals, upside down atmosphere and reverberating vocals. It evokes a new wave paranormality of sorts that drifts beyond the songs themselves. "My references aren’t just music," says Frankie, "I love old sci-fi. They Liveis one of my favorite movies ever, same with Suspiria. 80’s sci-fi movies with a John Carpenter soundtrack, with silly synths – that makes it into my file, to the point that I’ll write lyrics incorporating that kind of stuff. It’s in there." Beginning with the shimmery, cinematic and percussive sparkling of the album’s opening track "Love in Rockets," the song’s refrain of "a wheel, a wheel of wasting my life: a wheel, a wheel of wasting my time" immediately alludes to those darker circumstances that led to the creative origins of Cage Tropical."It’s all essentially based on what happened to me in Los Angeles and then a return to Brooklyn," says Frankie. "Misery
turned into something good. The whole record to me is a redemption record and it is the most positive one I’ve made" "I feel like I am finally free from worrying about an outcome. I don’t care. I already lost everything. I already had the worst-case scenario. When that happens, you do become free. In the end, it’s about me rescuing myself via having this record."
Some things just take time. Nothing could be truer for Philadelphia's Suburban Living, a project originally envisioned in 2011 as a solo endeavor of Virginia native Wesley Bunch. Yet, after 5 years and a move to Philadelphia, Bunch found Suburban Living to be much more than solely his own, joining forces with seasoned musicians Michael Cammarata, Peter Pantina, and Chris Radwanski in his newfound home. The resulting collaborative relationship amongst these four refreshed the project and expanded upon the already impressive groundwork laid by Bunch.
In early 2015, on the heels of touring throughout the U.S. and Japan, Suburban Living began writing what would become the band's sophomore full length, "Almost Paradise." During this time, a chance meeting with Philadelphia-based engineer Jeff Zeigler (The War on Drugs, Kurt Vile, Nothing) led to Zeigler offering to work with the band on their next recording. "Working with Jeff was pretty amazing. I’d never worked with an engineer that knew exactly how I wanted something to sound without me having to express it." explains Bunch. The support of Zeigler, as well as his bandmates, equipped Bunch to spearhead undeniably the best Suburban Living material to date.