Ballston Spa’s Architrave reflects on relationships on ‘Future Ruins’

Architrave in a photo illustration and their new album.

Architrave in a photo illustration and their new album.

On its forthcoming album, the synth-pop duo Architrave encourages listeners to stop doomscrolling and reconnect.  

“Future Ruins,” slated for release on Friday, is an introspective record reflecting on the relationships that we form with one another. Ballston Spa husband and wife duo Jennifer Maher Coleman and Paul Coleman, the musicians behind Architrave, wrote the album during the pandemic. It follows their 2020 album “This Perfect Day.” 

“Paul and I are both very compulsively creative people who just need to be having a million projects all the time. So twiddling our thumbs at home was not going to be an option and it was definitely really great to have this as something we could turn to to really express ourselves in a million ways and get all our frustrations out and our creative energy out,” Jennifer Maher Coleman said of working on the new album. 

Informed by ’80s new wave and dark wave, the album is both chilling and comforting. “Blissed Out” is the latter, with lyrics encouraging listeners to pull themselves away from the seemingly apocalyptic news cycle and connect with each other. 

Other tracks, like “Slice of Life,” speak to how difficult it can be to step back and appreciate life when each day feels the same.

“When you have the same thing going on all the time, it’s difficult to appreciate those things as being positive,” Coleman said.

Then, in “Louis Kahn,” Coleman reflects on brutalist architecture, which she finds fascinating in its duality: aesthetically interesting but functionally unappealing.

“I love architecture [and] the change in the way we look at it throughout time and because I love these futuristic buildings, it’s interesting to think of them in the future as relics if they survive,” Coleman said.

That line of thinking plays into the name of the album as well.

“It’s also a metaphor for the relationships and the societies that we build,” Coleman said. “We build these with such care and they’re all ephemeral.” 

That certainly comes through lyrically and sonically on the album, which is filled with synth-laden soundscapes and danceable beats.

Coleman took on the roles of producer, engineer and mixer in the making of the album; skills that can come with a steep learning curve.

“The more you know the more you realize you don’t know. So every achievement I would [have] with getting something to sound the way I wanted it to in my vision was immediately followed by ‘But I can’t quite get this other thing.’” Coleman said.

“I was a DJ for 25 years so I have some technical idea of controlling music . . . but this is the first time I’ve ever been able to be this in-depth with the making of the actual music that I’m controlling and I just love it. I just want to know more about it and do it right.”

Producing “Future Ruins,” and shaping the music herself, was important to Coleman.

“We have a lot of different music projects, Paul and I. This one was all about trying to get my vision out. He is still very instrumental in helping me . . . But I really want to be in charge of it. It’s super important to me to really own all of it in that esoteric way and really get it to be exactly mine as a legacy,” Coleman said.

“Future Ruins” will be out Friday on just about all platforms and mediums, including vinyl, which has been difficult to get this year. The duo will be performing a few shows in the coming weeks in support of the album, including Nov. 19 at Rare Form in Troy and a few shows in New York City and Massachusetts.

“We’re just trying to keep doing it as much as we possibly can and just being as careful as we can,” Coleman said.

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