Dirty Impound Questionnaire

Parlour Flames

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DI_Parlour_Album

Beginning with a plush rumination on a broken hearted existentialist that fears all his cries for help will end in tears and concluding jauntily in the Manchester rain, the soaring, poetic, appealingly smart debut from the Parlour Flames is a rock gift, the kind of finely crafted, energizing music that was the benchmark of the original British Invasion given pleasant modern complications. Self-described as “song based psychedelic art-rock with quintessentially English lyricism,” this fruitful collaboration between Impound fave Vinny Peculiar and ex-Oasis guitarist Bonehead recalls Revolver-era Beatles, early Blur and Roxy Music as well as the looser parts of XTC’s latter catalog (with a pinch of Dukes of the Stratosphear), though all these only in tone; the songwriting and vocal delivery are unique, a dry humor flecked stream of conscious conversation between the visible and the invisible, engaging with the psyche and pop culture in ways that slice between the layers.

Parlour Flames

Parlour Flames

The duo’s self-titled debut (released May 20 and available on import CD here or more economical download here) is just the soundtrack one might want waking up in the bathtub after last night’s bird has flown, and all the better if a strong cup of coffee and a morning spliff accompany one’s listening. The music shimmers and muses, teasing one out of their square space into a more open, ready-for-adventure mindset. Peculiar has never belted ‘em out with more romance and easy charm, and each tune is shaped in a very appealing manner, all melodic skip and crunchy guitars dotted with well chosen bursts of horns, piano and other enriching colors. While there’s obvious fondness for U.K. rock past, this isn’t nostalgic replication. One truly has to grok the underlying soul of The Kinks, The Hollies, and the rest of the 60s charge to pull off as lovely and compelling an album as this. Unquestionably, one of Dirty Impound’s favorite debuts this year, and one worth seeking out if you’re smitten with recent work from Jim James and Tame Impala as well as the aforementioned Brit Invasion lot.

We asked Vinny to tackle DI’s signature questionnaire, and he kindly obliged with his usual aplomb.

1. Great music rarely happens without…
Doing the very thing you swore you never would.
2. The first album I bought was…
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel. Soon after that came Electric Warrior by T Rex
3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
” Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ Push The Sky Away. I love Nick Cave.
4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
Big and strong and wild and free…
5. My favorite sort of gig is…
Played in a forgotten space no longer used for its original function. Disused swimming pools work well, great acoustics.
6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
I am really most comfortable with solitude, really I am.
7. I love the sound of…
An Electric Mistress – one of Electro Harmonix’ finest pedals.
8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
Hunky Dory. That would be something
9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow, Scotland – the food is always good there, spicy cheese wraps, rocket chips and salsa.
10. I always find the coolest audiences in…
The smallest places – village halls, the back rooms of small pubs, houses – intimacy is often the key to connectivity.
11. The worst habit I’ve picked up being on the road all the time is…
Forgetting the name of the sound engineer is the cardinal sin. It can have dire consequences.
12. Led Zeppelin or Radiohead, which flips your switch the most and why?
A tough one, but I’ll go with Radiohead. They soar where others simply float along. They take risks. They make experimental soul music, love pain and joy all twisted up like a tender scream. I love Led Zeppelin too but the bravery and time stretched signature freakery of the Oxford aliens puts them ahead, just…
13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
T he Elvis video gig with 1977 backing group live onstage at the local arena was pretty crazy. In the future we all will all be holograms of history.