PREMIERE: Retail Space Play the Old Country Waltz on Synths in “Don’t Ask Me Why”

The Brooklyn duo's ludicrously titled second album, You Can Catch a Lobster With Eggs But Not Egg Salad, is out February 10.

Isabelle Burnet and Jacob Rosse are a pair of former accountants who call themselves Retail Space, and if you think that’s the setup for some kind of elaborate joke about math-rock or Real Estate, you are precisely incorrect. Instead, the Brooklyn-based duo play a simmering, synthy brand of folk music that has way more in common with Phosphorescent circa Muchacho than, like, Hella and Ducktails.

In fact, Phossy would be a perfectly apt comparison if Burnet and Rosse didn’t sound so perfectly integrated with one another, as they do on “Don’t Ask Me Why,” which we’re pleased to be premiering today. While Matthew Houck shapes songs of alienation out of otherwise warm tones, Burnet matches Rosse’s longing, the two of them conversing over a dance that moves with the grace of a slowly turning disco ball. You get the sense that this is what Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris might have done after watching Twin Peaks—whether the keening synth is meant to be taken straight or to invoke a sense of schmaltzy nostalgia, it matches the ache in the duo’s voice.

“Don’t Ask Me Why” is taken from You Can Catch a Lobster With Eggs But Not Egg Salad, Retail Space’s second album, which is out February 10; you can preorder the record here. Give the track a listen below, and catch them on a brief west-coast jaunt this spring; those dates are below, too.

Retail Space tour dates

12/13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium
03/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ Junior High
03/10 – Seattle, WA @ Victory Lounge
03/11 – Portland, OR @ Turn! Turn! Turn!

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