KEXP Presents: Parquet Courts
August 11, 2014 • While onstage, can go from indolent to aggressive in about a second, but we still weren’t sure what to expect: The Brooklyn band arrived at KEXP’s studios on the last day of what must have seemed an interminable tour. Thankfully, the year and a half of globetrotting dulled neither its wit nor its edge as the group performed five songs from its stellar new album, Sunbathing Animal, live on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole.
Watch Parquet Courts perform “Black and White” on this page, and catch up with the full session below:
Parquet Courts are an American rock band from Denton, Texas, formed in 2011. The band consists of Andrew Savage (vocals, guitar), Austin Brown (vocals, guitar), Sean Yeaton (bass), and Max Savage (drums).
The band released their debut album, American Specialties, as a limited cassette release, in 2011. The band’s second studio album, Light Up Gold (2012), was initially released on Savage’s Dull Tools label and later reissued on What’s Your Rupture? in 2013. Light Up Gold received widespread critical acclaim in both the DIY underground and mainstream rock press. In 2014, the band reached #55 on the Billboard albums chart with its third studio album, Sunbathing Animal.
In Journalism 101, students are taught to use adjectives sparingly, as their overuse actually weakens a description. Parquet Courts, a band that’s been descriptively categorized by critics ad nauseam, might be particularly interested in recalling this oft-forgotten rule of thumb.
Since their 2010 debut, the Brooklynites have been frequently branded with variations of “slacker-rock ’90s revivalists.” While Parquet Courts’ music does bear a striking likeness to at least the spirit of golden-child ’90s bands like Pavement, the comparison really pisses them off.
Guitarist Austin Brown didn’t hold back during our recent interview; he abhors those “lazy” descriptions.
A Beaumont native, Brown met his Parquet Courts bandmate Andrew Savage while attending the University of North Texas in Denton. He credits Texas as “a nice place to be from,” but says he couldn’t wait to relocate to New York after college.
“I lived in Texas for 22 years,” Brown notes, “and that was long enough for me.
“There’s something exciting about the anonymity of living in New York that you can’t get in Texas,” he adds. “I moved here to have the opportunity to be openly creative, without the fear of criticism from my peers. I think the band would have been written off pretty quickly had we stayed elsewhere.”
Parquet Courts have been anything but “written off” lately; after the critical acclaim of last year’s Light Up Gold, the band is readying the release of its follow-up, Sunbathing Animal. Brown hopes this album won’t receive the same “slacker” label as its predecessor.
“Those ‘slacker-rock’ tags miss the point,” he scoffs. “I guess the mass’ idea was that we were this ’90s nostalgia group, and that we wanted to make our band sound just like the bands we grew up listening to – but I think those journalists were just phoning it in when they heard our record.”
“What critics are hearing but not writing about our sound is that it’s raw,” he corrects. “Our records sounds live — there are no polished elements to them. We’re not putting on a nostalgia show,” he stresses, “and we’re not making music to emulate classic-rock records.”