When Parquet Courts broke music in 2012 with their phenomenal second album Light Up Gold, there will have been a plethora of people saying, “Superb album. One trick pony.”
But –in large part by virtue of Andrew Savage’s incredibly sharp songwriting – they have gone from strength to strength. That is not to say that each successive album has necessarily been ‘better’, but more that they have completely blown apart any conception of being single-skilled, constantly developing new sounds and new ideas. Such prolificacy, too, with six albums in eight years.
Wide Awake is the latest and, while it’ll take some doing to totally win over the Light Up Gold or, indeed, Human Performance (2016) sweethearts, could very well be their best. It is certainly their most speculative.
Significantly though, Wide Awake is another step into another direction. Produced by Danger Mouse is in itself enough of a basis to consider Wide Awake a ground-breaker, but evidence coats the tracks themselves regardless.
The title track ‘Wide Awake’ is something you’ve never heard from Parquet Courts before. It has a Bossa Novva rhythm; its intro is accidentally the same as ‘Agadoo’ and once we get into it, it is entirely comparable to another punk rock monarch in Mick Jones’ Big Audio Dynamite.
And yet in contrast lead track ‘Almost had To Start A Fight/In And Out Of Patience’ is closer to what we’re used to, kicking back to the stoner rock n’ roll to which we’ve become accustomed in a track that quite literally has two acts to it, making for one of the biggest 1am indie club-night drops of the year.
Parquet Courts are big news in 2018. And it isn’t just their own careers they’ve made big. Indie music’s super slackers have been influencing just about everything coming out of NYC in the last 5 years. And for very good reason.
1. Total Football
3. Before the Water Gets Too High
4. Mardi Gras Beads
5. Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience
6. Freebird II
8. Back to Earth
9. Wide Awake
10. NYC Observation
12. Death Will Bring Change
Released: May 2018
Cat: RT0001LP / Rough Trade