Post-punk/synth-pop duo Architrave have a classic, new-wave sensibility that incorporates the sleek, futuristic sounds of modern indie-dance rock. Vocalist and producer Jennifer Maher Coleman describes their music as “informed by present day anxieties and often inspired by science fiction.” Evidence of her long history as a house and techno dj finds its way into almost every song. She cites Giorgio Morodor’s Donna Summer synthesizer masterpiece “I Feel Love” as one of her earliest and most significant influences.
For the band’s 2020 debut album, This Perfect Day, the upstate New York pair — which features Jennifer’s husband Paul Coleman on guitar and bass — channeled a foreboding, synth-driven atmosphere and tense lyrics. The record showcased their formative influences, 80s bands such as Joy Division, The Fixx, Cocteau Twins, Gary Numan, and Til Tuesday. Although it was written and recorded just before the pandemic struck, the album’s dark tenor struck a chord upon its release by capturing the ensuing collective mood.
As Karl Magi from Spinditty notes, “This is an album that has a sharp, angular feel at times but is also capable of ghostly drifting and moments of warmth, but warmth tinged with melancholy.”
The band’s follow-up album, Future Ruins, available on all streaming platforms a well as cassette, vinyl, and CD on November 12, leaps into a brand new, innovative direction that is filled with luscious soundscapes, infectious bass-lines, and complex beats. While Architrave forge a unique sound of their own, Future Ruins hints at influences like PiL and Wire, particularly in Paul Coleman’s bass and guitar lines.
Jennifer is also a painter with a strong interest in architecture, which is evident in the track “Louis Kahn,” a meditation on both the alienating qualities and the beauty of Brutalism. But Future Ruins is anything but alienating. The songs are compelling and evoke curiosity and encourage exploration.
While “This Perfect Day” was dystopian and sometimes broadly political in its themes, Future Ruins reflects pandemic isolation and the individual self-reflection that resulted on a massive scale. The first single, “Blissed Out,” is a wild expression of our present-day need to tear ourselves away from our lonely doom-scrolling and reconnect with others in a deep and even rapturous way. Its ecstatic rhythms, anthemic synthesizers, and pleading vocals convey the human drive to find joy in the darkest times.
You can check out the single “Blissed Out” on the bands Bandcamp page by clicking here.
Architrave is Jennifer Maher Coleman and Paul Coleman.
- Blissed Out
- Crown Shyness
- Louis Kahn
- Loved and Lost
- Humble and Good
- Truth Serum
- Rend The Garments
- Slice of Life
- Take It Slow
RiYL: Phantogram, Wire, New Order, S. Product, Future Islands, Elysium, Shadow of Fear, Month of Sundays, Boysdream, Drab Majesty, Actors, Little Dragon, The Cure
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