Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is the title track to the 2013 self-released album Suburban Reverb by Stripmall Architecture.
Suburban Reverb is the third full-length album produced by Stripmall Architecture, a band comprised (mostly) of Rebecca and Ryan Coseboom. Inspired by British and German electronic music (and “angry, angry birds”, according to their Facebook page), the duo is memorable for their energetically dissonant music and their delicately pretty vocals. Their tone, altogether though, is that of moody Mother Nature. Stripmall Architecture, who call San Francisco home, formed in 2008 after their previous band, Halou, broke apart. The chemistry of their collaboration is evident in their music, as if a laboratory always bubbling and brewing. And if it’s not the whirring, wanting, wonderful music you notice first, then it’s got to be Rebecca’s bright red hair. The centerpiece of the storm.
Do not adjust your stereo. The drama-soaked sounds coming from Stripmall Architecture’s “Suburban Reverb” are intentional and provocatively owned. The jarring tones, however, lead you to the pleasant siren voice of singer Rebecca Coseboom. “Are you dying on the inside? Are you trembling now, terrified?” Her voice is as sweet as that of the girl next door, but what she is saying is nothing plain. The band’s music, made of synths, heavy bass and dreamy guitars, washes against you. But like being against any wave, you want to push through and feel the power within it. It’s a club beat, it’s a meditative 75-mph push, it’s subversive. “Keep the conversation upbeat and on topic,” sings Rebecca slyly. Maybe best of all is the comical, reminiscent video game-like flicker at the very end, making sure the listener doesn’t take everything too seriously.
Stripmall Architecture’s Suburban Reverb will be released on June 18th. They band hasn’t released any tour dates to follow just yet, but a little birdie tells us that they are coming to Seattle on August 2 for a show with Books on Fate at the High Dive. Keep your eyes peeled for that and other dates on their website and Facebook page for updates. For now, here’s the “Nite Session” recording of their 2012 single “We Are Not Cool”: