Thanks in part to their '70s predecessors--Captain and Tennille, Sonny and Cher--today's husband-and-wife musical duos have to rock mercilessly to combat the cornball, matching-velour-suit associations of days past. Portland, Ore.'s, Kevin and Anita Robinson from indie outfit Viva Voce have managed to do just that, combatting both industry stigmas and stifling industry hacks over the past 11 years they've spent making sweet music together.
This month, the duo is back with their fifth studio album rose city, released on Barsuk Records. For this album, the Robinsons decided to expand into a foursome, adding musicians Evan Railton and Corrina Repp to the lineup. At their own Amore!Phonics Studios, Viva Voce wrote, arranged, recorded and produced the charmingly lo-fi album in one short month.
Brimming with a certain layered, hazy softness, rose city is augmented by droning guitars and echoey vocals. At times, the album is highly reminiscent of the dreamy pop made by yet another band fronted by a husband-and-wife team, Luna. The album's first single, "Octavio," is an immediate ear pleaser, with lightly driving bongo pats and vocal harmonies that belie the song's much darker lyrics. Check out the eerie video for "Octavio" on YouTube that had the Portland Mercury crying: "never has handholding looked so creepy."
9 p.m., with Cut Off Your Hands, $10 adv., $12 door. Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., 208-336-5034.