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In the bedroom

Frankie Cosmos and other stars of indie pop hit Olympia

Eskimeaux is one of three homespun bedroom pop bands playing Obsidian. Photo credit: Richard Gin

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Before we talk about some bands this week, it must be acknowledged what an amazing job Obsidian has been doing, as of late. The relatively new cafe/bar/venue has been absolutely killing it with their shows, quickly rising through the ranks of music spots in Olympia with at least one surefire bet a week, bringing in talent from all over the country, and showcasing the best music in the South Sound. The recent performance from Janeane Garofalo was a huge get for Obsidian, and undoubtedly a high water mark for the venue. This week brings another achievement for Obsidian, with the arrival of three of the most talked about voices in the indie scene: Frankie Cosmos, Eskimeaux, and Yowler.

Genres of music tend to rise in fall in popularity like the tide. At the end of the ‘90s, and into the early ‘00s, bedroom pop's profile rose, thanks in part to the improved availability of home recording equipment, not to mention the intimacy the genre provided. But, maximalist indie rock came roaring back thanks to bands like the Arcade Fire. In recent years, though, bedroom pop has been given new life, with the arrivals of Youth Lagoon and Perfume Genius. Three of the rising stars of the bedroom pop genre are the aforementioned Frankie Cosmos, Eskimeaux, and Yowler, though they all bring something special to the table.

All three of these bands at least began as solo recording projects. Frankie Cosmos is the moniker of the breathtakingly prolific Greta Kline, who released dozens of albums over the course of a few years on Bandcamp, before bursting on the scene with her critically acclaimed proper debut, Zentropy. Kline's strength lies in creating brief, bite-sized pop songs - her debut album consisted of 10 tracks and clocked in at around 17 minutes - that speak volumes about Kline's personality and world-view, not to mention being effortlessly catchy. Her newest album, Next Thing, continues Kline's work of unspooling great reams of lyrics sheets, messily, exuberantly splattered with thoughts and ideas, now with the benefit of a full band. It's deeply emotional music that doesn't suffocate; rather, it clears your sinuses and lifts you just a little bit off the ground.

Eskimeaux is the work of Gabrielle Smith, whose style has shifted since she started releasing music in 2007. Starting with experimental and noise rock, she's now settled into a groove with the lush, beat-driven pop found on her last LP, O.K., which sometimes recalls the simultaneously tough and sensitive music of Thao Nguyen, especially on standout track "Broken Necks." Things get a little slower and more ethereal with Yowler, Maryn Jones' solo project. Jones' main gig is as the frontwoman of All Dogs, a considerably louder and fuzzier band. Yowler, meanwhile, finds her dialing things way back and embracing atmosphere and patience over immediacy. Largely consisting just of her voice and her guitar, Yowler's The Offer sometimes feels like a throwback to the first boom of home-recording iconoclasts, putting an emphasis on empty spaces and lonely vocals.

Frankie Cosmos, Eskimeaux, and Yowler represent three idiosyncratic voices that started life in the nurturing comfort of the bedroom, now given vibrancy through full bands and crowds of fans. While the transition from the home to the stage isn't always a smooth one, these three artists have a way of blossoming in front of an audience. Olympia's own Generifus - another purveyor of homespun and emotionally vulnerable music - will be opening this stellar show, yet another in what will hopefully be a long line of exciting Obsidian bills. I'd get there early, if I were you.

OBSIDIAN, w/ Frankie Cosmos, Eskimeaux, Yowler, Generifus, 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, $7, 414 4th Ave. E., Olympia, 360.890.4425

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