To be cringe or not to be cringe, that is the question. In the deep nihilism pervasive in the post-pandemic digital landscape, cringe has evolved from a derisive label into an integral part of navigating the vast expanse of the internet, with many Gen Z creatives making art under the aphorism “I am cringe, but I am free”.
Enter Frost Children, maestros of the current and cool, who see adopting cringe merely as a potential vehicle for self-actualisation. The daring sibling duo, Angel and Lulu Prost, have both a discography and public persona that prioritises authenticity, navigating the intricate balance between the perceived cringe and the unapologetic embrace of sincerity, forging a distinctive path in an era marked by ever-shifting trends and unbridled self-expression.
Natives of St. Louis, Missouri, now entrenched in the throbbing heart of New York's downtown scene, the duo chose to create this record in the reclusive sprawl of a cabin nestled in the Poconos Mountains. Through nights spent together  “drinking wine” and “screaming at the moon”, Frost Children have fashioned Hearth Room, an LP that stands as a testament to their dynamic musical prowess and a bold departure from their previous hyperpop venture, SPEED RUN.
Describing their sound becomes an exercise in paradox in itself—terminally online, remix culture-infused, and a seamless blend of neo-folk, hypnagogic pop, punk rock, and hardstyle. Indeed, the pop-artist-ego-paparazzi allure of SPEED RUN and its counterpart, the ego-death-lifestyle-moved-upstate tranquillity of this new record Hearth Room, encapsulate the duality that defines Frost Children's musical journey, where everything can and must be felt at once; Frost Children tell me they are after “timelessness” with their music; through the combination of this new release Hearth Room and SPEED RUN, they may have just found it.
The duo say this album is best enjoyed accompanied with a glass of port wine, so please sit back, pour a glass of your finest Tawny, and delve with me into the latest new lore from the imitable world of the Prost siblings.
Hearth Room stands as an audacious and expertly crafted LP! Talk me through the overarching concept behind it?
Hearth Room is our take on more relaxed pop songs to be enjoyed alongside our more chaotic record of the year, SPEED RUN. Much like one would enjoy a glass of port wine after returning home from the club. We are huge fans of making pop music that doesn’t have this huge-sounding production. We tried to keep it neat and perfect.
Dazed gave you the moniker in 2022 of the “internet’s coolest band”. I’m interested to hear how you feel about that description. Considering your knack in both your music and aesthetic persona’s for tapping into the cultural zeitgeist of Gen-Z's most sardonic and chronically online, do you believe this connection has played a role in crafting the perception of Frost Children as a paragon of contemporary coolness?
Honestly, these days, everyone at all ages is “chronically online”. While I think some of our earlier music has overt internet vibes, I think we realised pretty fast that limiting ourselves to the scope of Internet was boring— we are after timelessness. And coolness, to us, comes from timelessness and lifelong commitment to staying fresh. I’m not going to be the one to call ourselves cool though - that’s what press is for maybe.
Following on from this, as you venture into the landscapes of vulnerability woven throughout this LP, the authenticity is undeniably tangible. Specifically, in the evocative Stare At The Sun, the spotlight is on the rawness in your vocals and the sincerity of expression in your desolate refrain cries of “I give and I take” is striking. Can you delve into the cathartic nature of this creative journey? How do you anticipate your audience, particularly those of the post-irony hyper-online persuasion, will interpret and embrace this profound shift in your musical expression, where vulnerability becomes a pertinent thread woven into the sonic fabric of Frost Children?
There’s a difference between online music and digital music. All music is online, and just because it’s shrouded in some kind of aesthetic doesn’t mean it’s insincere. I think a lot of artists gradually start to find their own voice (literally) and wane off going to effects-heavy with the production. You can achieve a lot more with less most of the time. It wasn’t really as nerve- wracking as you might think to just put your raw vocals in a song. We’re not shy of who we are. Who cares?
In a conversation with Office, both of you delved into the intriguing concept of "the zen of cringe" and the significance of embracing rather than shunning one's inner cringe. A decade has passed since Sky Ferreira declared the now-famous aphorism, Everything is Embarrassing, and notably, in the hyper-pop maximalist arena that SPEED RUN navigated, there has been a prevailing trend among artists to not merely accept but wholeheartedly embrace this maxim, under the notion that "I am cringe, but I am free."’ Given the notable sonic shift between SPEED RUN and Hearth Room, I'm curious to understand your perspective on the enduring power of the cringe. Do you agree with the like's of Vogue's Daisy Jones that we have reached the apex of the cringe movement, prompting a shift towards exploring more profound and introspective territories, or do you still find resonance in the liberating embrace of the cringe as an integral facet of artistic expression?
I think we’ll always have some level of cringe in our work, but its presence or absence is never really intentional. I do think the world has learned their lesson of cringe in the past couple years since, say, our record SPIRAL. It’s not really interesting to make something that just says “Wow, this is cringe, I challenge you to like it” anymore. Like you said, we are free - so why pigeonhole ourselves, ever, in anything?
Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, you mentioned in your Dazed feature how there "wasn’t anything to do, so we stayed indoors". how has the environment of living and growing together in the “shopping mall suburb of Missouri” shaped and nurtured your creative synergy? How far have your shared temporal experiences and the spaces you imagined music being celebrated in become foundational elements in your collaborative journey as siblings and artists?
We love the mall. We went back to the suburbs we grew up in recently and everything’s changed— the mall now houses only a skate rink and a volleyball court. The Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet store we both worked at in high school is now called “The District” and it is a haunting millennial facelift of microbreweries and sterile sidewalks. I guess we just created a world in our heads because nothing was really happening back then either.
How has being directly involved with the ever-evolving melange of the NYC underground scene influenced your approach to music and collaboration, and are there any particularly memorable collaborations that have shaped your artistic journey?
We do these real-time club theatre performances with Club Cringe in NYC sometimes that is always experimenting on how to make live performance more weird and psycho. The last one we did in New York at The End, Angel wrote this script about how the evil Big Label Bob has locked Club Cringe into a lifelong record contract, and we were doomed to perform at Trans-Pecos for the rest of our lives. And the whole performance was us playing collab tracks (Angel Money, Wallh4x, Mother Cell) with each other in an effort to break out of the bureaucracy. We also did a hotel room session recently in Czech Republic with the Club Cringe crew— Lulu produced a track in one hour that they took for their album called Dirty Pop. I’m rambling - we’re always doing stuff all the time. That’s the New York Way. 
Within the tapestry of this album, there seems to be a narrative that unfolds as an ode to the tranquil sanctuaries found in nature. In Birdsong, you poetically express how, "now that the world’s slowed down", you have become imbued with the essence of "sweet birdsong" and the fragrance of "dew on a sleeping frog." The very creation of Hearth Room took place in the clandestine embrace of a cabin nestled in the Poconos Mountains, amidst the awakening of spring. How did the time spent isolated within the serene encircle of the sylvan surroundings intricately weave their influence into the measured pace and emotional tonalities of the sonic palette in this record?
First off, I love the way you write questions. “Clandestine embrace”, “sylvan surroundings” - wow! Well, we were out there on a self-imposed mission to make Hearth Room, and New York City was just popping too hard at that time for us to focus. We sampled nature a bunch, went on long morning walks, drank a lot of wine, screamed at the moon, stared at the sun. It’s nearly impossible to listen to club music out there, but you still have to dance. It was important to home running the record for sure.
Outside of the change in scenery, what other elements in your lives influenced and informed the bold transition from the electronic pop of SPEED RUN to the unplugged atmospherics of Hearth Room?
We contain the urge to make SPEED RUN-style songs and Hearth Room-style songs at the same time. We figured that instead of blending the vibes together on one long project, we would split them up and live them out both side by side. Dual Micro Eras. We live in a micro-era economy. But we’ve always had that spirit. Birdsong was actually written months before FLATLINE. We’re always making a little of everything and it never feels insincere or wrong.
Your previous album, SPEED RUN, notably featured an interpolation of the Super Smash Bros Brawl main theme on your track SERPENT. In your feature with Office, you mentioned approaching writing as character based. Drawing a parallel between the video game characters in Super Smash Bros and the personas you embody in your music, do you see becoming these characters as a form of escapism, reminiscent of how playing a character in a video game offers an escape from reality? How does this character-driven approach contribute to the immersive journey you invite your listeners to embark upon within the realms of Frost Children's sonic universe?
Legally, I cannot say if that sample is actually present or not. Certainly you can say it resembles that video game theme. The characters come from inside and might not express how we are day to day, but the fact that we come up with them means that they’re valid. I don’t feel like I’m playing a part. I think a lot of people think that Pop Music isn’t valid if it’s not some version of direct truth or if it doesn’t act as some mirror of the artist’s life. In the end the most iconic people in music are cartoon characters of themselves. Even the ones that postulate to be Punk Rock or whatever.
In the labyrinthine verses of Bob Dylan, you craft an anxiety-inducing spoken word track, a freeform poetry that feels like an absurdist deconstruction of the epic American lamentations found in Beat poetry such as Ginsberg’s Howl. The lyrics on the surface seem to be a commentary on the transgressive commodification rampant in modern NYC. Could you unravel the layers of meaning embedded in this track, particularly in relation to the tensions between the rebellious spirit of counterculture and its absorption into the commercial machinery? How does Bob Dylan serve as your poetic lens through which you explore the paradoxes and anxieties of success, artistry, and the changing landscapes of New York City?
There is an infamous Angel Newsletter called Punk in 2023 that I wrote around the same time as Bob Dylan. Here’s a quote:
“Punk is an enduring dedication to Play and to Wonder as protest against the Rot of the world
Or when you do give into the Rot, letting its antagonism against the Silly shine, thereby reinforcing the eternal cure-all of Fun-ness
Punk is absolutely having it with Absolution
John Lennon yelling at Berkeley students, interrupting Yoko every four seconds, agitated with journalists because they don't understand Peace... NOT PUNK
Being quietly Complex, simply vibing, laying in bed, biting your fingernails, letting journalists just walk on by... PUNK”
Your live performances are known for their energetic and visually striking elements, such as giant smiley Mesaryth stars and inflatable SpongeBob costumes. How do these theatrical elements enhance the audience's experience, and what's the creative process behind crafting such memorable stage presence?
We’ve been to enough shows in our life to know you just gotta switch it up. As iCarly said, “You gotta switch it up on a Bitch.” We’ve started to trade in props for more overall on-stage star-power, which is actually way more effective and jaw dropping. If you give a show with 100% confidence, no one in the audience can be mad. Or maybe they’re so mad, they’re actually happy. Down with the timid, self-questioning indie rocker.
Given the monumental acclaim your live shows have garnered in the past, fortified by a formidable supporting roster of George Clanton, death dynamic shroud, Gravity Kills, and Dorian Electra, the anticipation for your upcoming North American tour is undoubtedly high among fans! How are you both feeling about it? Are there any cities or venues you are particularly excited to play at?
That’s very sweet of you to say. Live performances are our favourite thing ever. We’re especially excited to perform 2 sets per night on tour— one for Hearth Room and one for SPEEN RUN. To my knowledge, it has never been done before. We’re excited to return to Beat Kitchen in Chicago where we played with 3l3d3p pre-SPEED RUN and the crowd was epic. We also kind of fell in love with Salt Lake City, for some reason the audience’s sprit was so passionate there on the George tour. I feel the most true and alive on stage.
In the spirit of your commitment to never delete anything, can you share an anecdote or moment from your creative journey that holds particular significance for you, whether it made its way into your music or not?
When you mature as an artist, you shouldn’t publicly disown your older stuff. Why would you want to disavow this thing that you made in the past that made tons of people fall in love with you? Even if you don’t connect with it now?
What’s next in store for Angel and Lulu Prost? What can we expect to see from you both in the future?
We made the mistake of accidentally soft-announcing Hearth Room in an interview once, so we’ll just say this: we will make a lifetime of music for you and for everyone, for all time. Wehrenberg.