Release Date: Oct 11, 2005
Record label: Merge
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Rebounding after the ever-so-slightly samey feel of The Violet Hour, Strange Geometry reinvigorates the Clientele's literate, wistful indie pop with fresh doses of emotion, invention, and wit. As the Arthur Machen quote in the album's liner notes suggests, Strange Geometry is as much about London as it is about introspection and lost love: virtually every song on the album makes characters out of the tenement lines, gardens, trees, streets, and buildings that make up the city. In fact, these songs are so thematically tight that they resemble a collection of poems and short stories set to music, particularly on the largely spoken word "Losing Haringey," a breakup note to London with wonderfully evocative lyrics like "I was in an underexposed photo of 1982.
Critics often mention the Clientele in the same breath with Galaxie 500, and just like that band, this London trio seems to tinker with variations on a single song. The template stays roughly the same – to wit: hazy guitars, a melody anchored by a sturdy bass line, and Alasdair MacLean’s careful vocals. They even, from time to time, bolster their work’s general impression of ethereality by adding field recordings of a religious variety.