Parquet Courts announce new album ‘Sympathy for Life,’ share “Walking at a Downtown Pace”
The signs were there, new songs had been sung and now it's official: Parquet Courts are have a new album on the way, titled Sympathy for Life, that will be out October 22 via Rough Trade. With the news comes new single "Walking at a Downtown Pace" that some New Yorkers may have heard in marching band form last week, or at their Jersey City show this weekend.
Their seventh album, Sympathy for Life is a pretty different record for the band -- their most electronic yet, and influenced by Primal Scream and Pink Floyd. “Wide Awake! was a record you could put on at a party,” says co-frontman Austin Brown. “Sympathy For Life is influenced by the party itself."
"Historically, some amazing rock records have been made from mingling in dance music culture – from Talking Heads to Screamadelica," Brown continues. "Our goal was to bring that into our own music. Each of us, in our personal lives, has been going to more dance parties. Or rather, we were pre-pandemic, which is when this record was made.”
To help them achieve that party atmosphere, they worked with two very different producers: Rodaidh McDonald, who's worked with The xx and Hot Chip, and John Parish, who has been behind the boards for records by PJ Harvey, Aldous Harding, Dry Cleaning and more. "Most of the songs were created by taking long improvisations and moulding them through our own editing,” says Brown. “The biggest asset we have as artists is the band. After 10 years together, our greatest instrument is each other. The purest expression of Parquet Courts is when we are improvising.” The band and their producers took those improvised sessions, chopped them up and used them to create something new.
The album includes the tripped-out "Plant Life" single from earlier this year, while new single "Walking at a Downtown Pace" is funkier and more immediate, but in a distinctly Parquet Courts way. The video, directed by street photographer Daniel Arnold, is very downtown and captures NYC at its most vibrant and unexpurgated, as well the band rolling around in the backseat of a moving car.
Last week's event with the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corp (LGBAC) Marching Band was the first of 11 global events that they're calling "The Power of Eleven" that will happen in the lead-up to the album's release. (There are 11 tracks on the album, by the way.) Each event will feature exclusive schwag for attendees (people who went to the NYC one last week got drum sticks). Head to the band's website for more details.
Parquet Courts have also announced "Feel Free - Sympathy For Life, Visualised," which is a livestream of for every song on the record, which will air October 20. Each video was made by a different visual artist. Tickets are on sale.
Sympathy For Life tracklist
1. Walking At A Downtown Pace
2. Black Widow Spider
3. Marathon of Anger
4. Just Shadows
5. Plant Life
6. Application Apparatus
7. Homo Sapien
8. Sympathy For Life
9. Zoom Out
PARQUET COURTS TOUR DATES
Sat. Sept. 18 - Augustine, FL @ Sing Out Loud Festival
Wed. Sept. 22 - Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre *
Fri. Sept. 24 - Marfa, TX @ Trans-Pecos Festival
Sun. Sept. 26 - Accord, NY @ Woodsist Festival
Sat. Oct. 2 - Tampa, FL @ Gasparilla Music Festival
Fri. Oct. 29 - Richmond, VA @ The National
Sat. Oct. 30 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
Sun. Oct. 31 - Lancaster, PA @ Tellus360
Wed. Nov. 03 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
Thu. Nov. 04 - Portland, ME @ State Theatre
Fri. Nov. 05 - Holyoke, MA @ Gateway City Arts
Sat. Nov. 06 - Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony
Wed. Nov. 17 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Fri. Nov. 19 - Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheatre
Tue. Mar. 15, 2022 - Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
Wed. Mar. 16, 2022 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
*= supporting Portugal. The Man