Parcels – Parcels (2018)
When this quintuplet of Australian surfer dudes set off in 2014 to live in Berlin and pursue their disco-soul music dream, they probably hadn’t imagined in their wildest dreams that they’d bump into Daft Punk along the way, let alone collaborate with them. The product of that collaboration was the 2017 single Overnight, which turned heads on dance-floors the world over, and established Parcels as a funky force to disco down to. The album would land a year later, and it was certainly worth the wait.
The fact that these lads look like they’ve just walked out of an Eagles gig in 1977 only adds to the intrigue. They’re clearly not putting it on with that nostalgic, hippy image. The further fact that their sound draws from a list of cool-as-fuck renegades – the likes of Chic, Giorgio Moroder, Steely Dan, Marvin Gaye, Toto, Hot Chip, Hall & Oates and of course, Daft Punk, to name but a few – puts the cherry on top. In short, this thrilling band that indulge in immaculate harmonies, pulsating breakdowns, hair-flailing grooves and shudderingly good melodies are a stellar example of why modern music is still ace.
Yes….don’t forget the name Parcels in a hurry.
Lightenup is one of the album highlights, with its addictive hook and glittering disco-ball beat. Remarkably, this album manages to transcend genres and sound modern whilst remaining very much rooted in the past. The whimsical Withorwithoutyou is another dreamy, harmony drenched candidate for the repeat button (yes, I’m still into CDs), and IknowhowIfeel is a titan toe-tapper with swagger. Drummer Anatole “Toto” Serret keeps a zip-tight rhythm section thumping with his solid four-on-the-floor, and Noah Hill’s bass lines are just sublime – he clearly got locked in the cupboard with Chic on repeat in his formative years.
Jules Crommelin, the beatnik with the ‘tache, leads a stunning unit with his Nile Roger esque guitar sequences and terrific lead vocal, and he really shines on Yourfault. The 70’s vibe shines like a motel sign on a dirt road, and yet the timeliness of these tunes is staggering. The album offers a release in dance, and the chunky production stamps that Random Access Memories feel all over it. I like Everyroad and Tape too; exuberance in plenty.
This is an infectious record. I’ve yet to introduce anyone to Parcels yet that haven’t instantly loved them. Your limbs will twitch and your body refuse to stay still.
An instant classic. All hail the new guard!
Top track trio: