Something very special is happening at San Francisco’s DNA lounge tonight. Stripmall Architecture, the brainchild of partners Rebecca and Ryan Coseboom, officially release their new album this evening, with help from special guests Books on Fate and Return to Mono.
Suburban Architecture has been in my power rotation for the last couple of weeks. It’s a glorious album, the best yet from the band. The mix is crisp and clean with no caffeine, and Rebecca’s vocals border on surreal.
Some of that dreamlike quality is due to her phrasing, the inflection that is uniquely her own. Last syllables are clipped, unstressed syllables now stressed, yet never does her phrasing seem like an affectation. But the real factor is Coseboom’s voice, which is an ethereal jewel. There’s truly something otherworldly about that voice that triggers the same alpha state as David Lynch favorite Julee Cruise’s once did. There are moments in Suburban Architecture where I expect a dwarf carrying a log to dance backward in front of a velvet curtain, and that’s a good thing.
Don’t misunderstand: The songs themselves are very accessible. “Heartheart/Rhinebeck” is electronica’s very own “Girl From Ipanema:” clever, sexy, familiar, and yet all together new. “We Are Not Cool” is as hooky and cool as they come, so don’t believe the disingenuous title. But for me the money track is “Jetset Friends,” which sums up pretty much everything great about this album:
Enough. If you’re in San Francisco tonight, drop by the DNA Lounge and hear the greatness for yourself, and if not no worries. You can pick up Suburban Architecture in the format of your choice (including clear vinyl!) here.