Album Review: Who Parked The Car – Mad Weather Good Friends

Who Parked The Car are a Paris, France-based pop and jazz collective who I first discovered for this blog earlier this year through their amour-infused ballad W&G. The track features on their debut album Mad Weather Good Friends which has just been released. Here’s my track by track rundown.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Kévin Paumier

The album opens with Rock Climbing. A funky bass lick combines with a piano before soaring vocals, percussion and brass joins in. Lyrically it speaks of love through relatable storytelling and natural imagery. It’s a strong start.

Up next is Candle Dance, a disco number that will get you moving. The instrumentals are kept funky, with lively brass and a sweeping guitar solos that are out of this world. The band take inspiration from pop artists like Bruno Mars as well as vintage jazz, and the combination of influences is clearly on display here. It has a timeless feel to it.

Track three is Third Circle. In stark contrast to Candle Dance, there is an intimate and almost melancholic mood to it. Sparse piano teams up with echoing guitar in its opening and things are kept minimal for the first couple of minutes before it explodes into life with swelling, emotive jazz.

By this point of Mad Weather Good Friends, Who Parked The Car had shown a range of styles – from the feelgood to the upbeat to the emotional. Enter the aforementioned W&G which keeps the emotion high and rounds off the first half of the album wonderfully.

Caesar’s Dream brings the energy back up as we enter the second half. There’s an easy groove about it, with elements of R&B and soul in the vocal delivery. When the track hits its full stride, it’s a powerhouse of dance energy and an album highlight.

It’s followed by Other Side, a gentle, sci-fi infused surprise piece of jazz electronica. There’s a whimsical feel to it. “I just want to play the saxophone,” the lyrics declare “why don’t you just leave me alone?” As the track progresses, though, there is a deeper profundity to its message.

The album’s penultimate song is its title track. Like Third Circle and W&G, there’s an intimate feel to it. Rather than speaking of romance though, it’s an ode to friendship and a sense of belonging. It swells to an almost gospel-like crescendo before a delicate piano outro sets up the funky, feelgood album closer Who Parked The Car.

It’s impossible to overstate just how fresh and exciting Who Parked The Car’s sound is. I expect them to make a big splash in the international jazz scene with this debut, and will likely make a lot of fans among those who wouldn’t traditionally follow the genre. Mad Weather Good Friends is a must listen and you can check out the whole album below.