Sometimes the five packages are mistaken as a French band, ‘Par-sells’. Or as beachy surf bums. Or as the guys sent direct mail from the seventies. What the band Parcels are, considering we’re talking about their debut album, is a superlative still very much undefined.
What we do know is that they’re very young, 21 to be precise. Jules Crommelin is on Guitar, Noah Hill the Bass, Louie Swain and Patrick Hetherington on the Keys and Synths, and Anatole Serret on Drums – everyone in harmonious vocals. We can confirm that indeed they are Australian, deceptively not as beach going as the Beach Boys, and that they’re unusually committed, from their production to their visual world.
Formed during high school from leftovers of other bands – hillbilly folk, heavy metal and a band called ‘Potato Potato’ – the odd bunch solidified their commitment to one another with the under financed and enthusiastically naive move to Berlin in the winter of 2015. One that had Anatole Serret sleeping above sacks of coal, Louie Swain calling his mum to learn how to clean, one significantly damaged rental property and all with whittled down pant sizes.
Despite the hardship, if you asked them today whether they’d do it all again, the answer would be a resounding yes. ‘We weren’t thinking much when we moved to Europe, we just finished high-school and hit the road’ the band palms off the bold move as a breezy maneuver, ‘but what happened after was the start of everything for us, we can’t imagine our lives if we hadn’t boarded that plane.‘
Scoring a deal with French Indie label Kitsune practically on arrival to the shores of Europe made them feel like a real band, finding their manager, was their introduction to becoming musicians in the bigger sense of the word, and their first collaboration, with none other than Daft Punk, their education. If the forming of Parcels was university, it was certainly Ivy League. As they plainly stated themselves “We were going to start making electronic music. We had all left school and decided to go to Europe. After a year overseas it became less about electronic music and more about us five being serious in a band for the first time, and that really removed any boundaries we’d set up for ourselves.”
The world has heard two EP’s Clockscared and Hideout and a single called Overnight, a very little amount of music for a band that plays to growing 15k crowds. They have something special, something tangibly ‘big band’ about them in an almost nostalgic, romantic sense. Most that see them play live, feel like they discovered something of their own. It is with this pressure that they sat down and wrote an album a year ago, and they wanted to do it traditionally, properly. “We wanted to throw in everything we’ve ever learnt from making music together, from previous bands, and to form a sound that we could call ours’’. The album takes two or three listens to get past it’s groovy licks and it’s uplifting, hip moving disco. On that third listen you’ll start to hear it’s very grown up complexity, a smorgasbord of influences, darker lyrical sentiments and an overall production value last seen three decades ago. Yes you can hear that they sat in a room with Daft Punk for some days, but you can also hear Exotica. On maybe the 6th listen you’ll hear some Dubstep.
The classic live feel in IknowhowIfeel, Lightenup, Exotica. The more modern, electronic production of Tape, Closetowhy. There are throws to Tropicana and 60’s style recording within Yourfault and Exotica. The progressive movement of Everyroad, Tape. These influences and a hundred more can be noted. ‘That felt natural, it was fun. Every time we found an influence or a sound to utilise we had moved on by the time we reached the next song.‘
‘So the challenge then was to bring it together’, the band, who seem constantly to be battling with modern mentalities and old school traditionalism wanted an album that could sound like anything but they also wanted an album that felt like a piece, like the classic albums they adored. They found their thread with a mission ‘…mainly it all came together through our desire to create meaningful pop music.‘
And this search for meaningful pop music has become a core drive for Parcels, who five years ago would have shuddered at the term. ‘Disregarding the modern taboo of the word, pop music for us is something which really makes you feel. It’s pure emotion. We’re coming at this from a vaguely musical background and with varied influences, but in the end we’re just trying to unlock the raw feeling of each track. Something that everybody can feel.‘
Parcels decided to self-produce the entire album, in true Parcels style, undertaking a monumental task with extremely minimal experience. “Producing the album was very important to us. We want to feel it’s ours, and we wanted to grow and learn from our mistakes. We are very proud to say though, it’s the first time we are happy with our result’’. They’re not the only ones with the feeling, we get the distinct inkling that this is one of those bands that only come around once every 30 years, much like their wardrobe.For tour dates and more visit: www.parcelsmusic.com/