I’d like to think of myself as a pretty discerning guy. but I’m not. I have a problem. I am a sucker for things that wink at me.
I once bought a bottle of lemonade because it was winking at me. Turned out the lemonade was made with stevia and was pretty gross. So I pretty immediately bought into Parlour Tricks. And maybe that’s the scam.
It starts how some love stories go. I had just started a new job and was working late hours alone. It was the kind of job where not much happened, until it did. Wink.
One night, with my back to the door, I heard a western whistle come through. At first I thought I heard some sadness in her voice but I was mistaken. That was The Storm.
The Storm is a soft rock power ballad. It’s a story based on an ‘Olympian Love’ which all but forces your attention to the myth. The Storm of course is dotted with electronic flair, and an “acoustic” version exists as well. But with many of the Parlour Tricks’ songs, it’s the growl of the vocals and the guitar that pull you in.
“I see” shouts Requiem, a piano heavy dance party. It’s a fun sing along, the kind of song you can yell along to while you’re driving with the windows down. It’s a pretty great video that may or may not include a rain dance. But it definitely includes a wink.
Bukowski follows a similar style with a bit more funk. Here is song about a conversation that turns into an argument. Bukowski features a call and response that reminds me of Telepopmusik. That angry unhinged guitar over the otherwise quiet style always gets me.
On the surface, Parlour Tricks could be summed up in a few words. Yes Lily is pretty. Sure, they’ve got a range of influences. Everybody does, “who are your influences” is pretty much the dumbest question you could ask anyone. I hear a lot of influences going on, and I can see the long forgotten trio front with big band attitude.
But all of that matters. Three female singers in a “me” oriented industry perform choreographed dances to a simple and punctuated background while telling stories in ways that NuFolk bands dream about. They say 2 things about inventions – first that they’re born of necessity, sure. But also that it takes intelligence to find a practical application. Parlour Tricks have taken these ingredients and packaged them into something wonderful.