Frankie Rose never intended to be a musician. In fact, she’s only really been making money from music for a year. She used to bartend in Brooklyn (where she’s still based), and the longest job she ever held was that of a bike messenger in San Francisco. Go figure.
“Music only started being something that made me money like a year ago,” 33-year-old Rose said in a phone interview, her sugary voice adding to her charm. “If you can call it a career now, oh, I don’t know about that. It was never my intention for it to be my career; it was totally a chance. I did it for fun and for free.”
Still, Rose—who cites herself as a fan of music more than anything—is incredibly thankful that it’s become something more concrete for her.
“Last year I didn’t have to have a day job,” she said. “It’s a blessing; it’s a real gift. I hope I can keep doing it. I know that’s not usually the case for most people that make music.”
But one listen to her sophomore solo album, Interstellar, and you’d never know music wasn’t her well-thought out career plan from the get-go. The album is a whimsical and airy dose of dreamy rock. When she recently played Toronto’s Parts and Labour as part of her tour, fans shouted out song suggestions, requested that her mic get turned up because they wanted to better hear her voice, and gushed comments like, “I love her!”
“I don’t actively try to seek it out,” she said of critic and media attention. “It’s my intention to not make music for any other reason that because it makes me happy to do so.”
“It’s a lot more responsibility, just a lot more intense all around. I’m solely responsible for everything that happens, every decision that’s made falls on my shoulders,” said Rose. “But it’s also high risk, high reward, so it’s been great. I don’t think I can go back [to being in a band].”
And while her first solo record, Frankie Rose and the Outs (also the moniker she used to go by), wasn’t exactly a hit, Interstellar has proven to everyone that while she didn’t start out with the intention of making music her career, she’s darn well going to try to now.
“I knew I didn’t want to do the same thing twice,” she says of creating Interstellar, an album that Pitchfork called a second-album leap of faith. “That was really important to me going into the second record. My first one was fine, it was the finest effort I could’ve made at the time. I know looking back I didn’t have a career vision for what I wanted to be doing.
“With my second album I had a lot more time, lot more space, a lot more clarity of vision for what I wanted to make,” she continues. “So I didn’t know what I would end up with, knew I wanted to do something different. I wanted to push my limits and see what I was capable of.”
The result is cosmic, mystical, and full of life. The album even includes “Pair of Wings,” a song that dates back to the first band Rose was ever a part of. But the Interstellar version, she says, is nothing like the original one.
“Originally it was totally different,” Rose said. “It was written on a ukulele and it had a four-minute bridge in the middle. It sounded kind of like a country song. It was really fun to make it the way I always heard it in my head.”
So even though the stunning Rose may not have always intended to make music her career, it’s not a surprise that it’s turned out that way. And even for her, she admits, it’s always been a huge part of her life: “It’s the only thing that’s held my interest in my life,” she said. “It truly has held my attention.”