Chicago-based Frankie Master once again finds her way onto our blog with another single from her upcoming album, Aseasonal Sadness. The track is called “Pathos” and it explores the ways that technology inhibits the way in which people relate to each other, with “empath becoming a unique identity rather than a certainty of being human.”
“Pathos” opens with some guitar that causes us to recall the later work of Fugazi– not necessarily clean, but not completely overdriven. There’s simply a glowing saturation that halos around each note. The rhythm section joins fairly quickly, and this track has a glorious pulse that will bring the most stubborn of feet to tap along with the beat. The production makes room for Frankie’s divine vocal– one of the reasons we are such big fans of hers. And with this track, she seems to have taken advantage of some slight distortion, likely by way of a tube preamp, allowing her voice to sit tightly with the mix as it contrasts with the predominately clean instrumental.
This vocal effect also give Frankie’s voice the ability to sound timeless amidst a more modern production, particularly when she flows into her upper register. While the song was pitched to us as indie pop, it is seriously one distortion pedal away from hitting the ceiling. That said, we like how close it comes before pulling back and turning in a more melodic direction. We’re not sure if this intentional or not, but it could serve as a metaphor for how close people often come to making a genuine connection before ultimately retreating back into their phones.
“Pathos” takes a number of production risks, yet would sound perfectly at home on the radio, though we feel that it was written more for a live audience. And since she is local, we fully intend on catching one of her shows in order to test this theory. In the meantime, join us in giving “Pathos” a spin as we patiently await the release of her LP.