For their forthcoming second full-length album “Day/Night,” due in November, Australian band Parcels decided to change up their approach — which you can hear on the latest session of “Live From My Den.”
Guitarist Jules Crommelin says, “I remember one of the intentions when we started was playing around with [the concept of] being a band — playing live instruments while also being doing electronic stuff. But I just felt from listening to the radio and playing live at festivals [before the pandemic], it just felt right to go the opposite direction to where everybody is going. The editing process in music is becoming actually a creative part of music, which is great, but everything is getting very rigid and lifeless. So I think we really wanted to make the record very, very organic and we definitely wanted to play live.”
The group certainly succeeded on that count, throwing in influences from Quincy Jones and Marvin Gaye, among others, and was produced by the band with mixing duties from Arctic Monkeys producer James Ford and string arrangements from Arcade Fire’s Owen Pallett. The album is actually two separate ones, “Day” and “Night,” with a total of 19 tracks.
But it’s been a long road to “Day/Night” for the group, who met in high school in their home country of Australia but have lived in Berlin, France and other places at well. This interview was done at Lafrette Studios outside of Paris, where they recorded the album. “Home for us right now is a confusing statement,” bassist Noah Hill says. “We’re kind of working around the world, trying to find where home is, exactly,” he laughs.
The group — Crommelin, Hill, keyboardist Louie Swain, keyboardist/guitarist Patrick Hetherington and drummer Anatole ‘Toto’ Serret — had international reach early on, playing shows with top-rank French acts Phoenix and Air, and a debut single that was produced by Daft Punk. After a string of singles and EPs, they released their self-titled debut in 2018, following with “Live Vol. 1,” an 18-track outing recorded at the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin.
Despite all the time the tight-knit group has spent together, there are still surprises. Asked how the group came together, Jules recalls, “We met in high school, more or less. These guys were busking on the street and playing in a folk band, then Toto came in and it became a rock band, and then I was in a metal band — but we were just kids jamming together. After about six months, I was just like, ‘Yep. This is the band. Let’s do this.’ And then I dotted over to Berlin to check it out while all the boys stayed in Australia, and… I actually didn’t like Berlin.
Surprised, Hill cuts in, “And you never told us?! Years later, you tell us, ‘I wasn’t sure about it?’
“I wasn’t sure about it, but I knew that we needed to get out of Australia,” Jules says. “And Berlin seemed… I had no idea where else to go and it seemed appropriate. So we did it and I’m glad we did.”
Australia’s loss was Europe’s gain, as the group proves during their “Live From My Den” session — check it out above!