The Parlor are one of my favourite recent discoveries for this blog. They first came to my attention in March through their track Serpentine, and I followed that up with a share of Remember How in May. Both tracks feature on the New York, USA duo’s new album You Are Love And I Am You.
By Graeme Smith
The Parlor are multi-instrumentalist, producer-composers Eric Krans and Jen O’Connor. They take their inspiration from musicians like The Mamas and the Papas, Tame Impala and The Velvet Underground, as well as literary giants like Carl Jung and the human experience as a whole. You Are Love And I Am You distils these references down into a thirteen-track psychedelic dream-pop journey.
The album opens with ethereal intro Now before plunging headlong into The Cloud of Unknowing. There’s something spiritual about its composition, which sounds recorded in a cavernous cathedral. Jen’s vocals are delicate and captivating in the first verse before the electronic and rock layers start to build to something all-encompassing. It’s a beautiful start.
Oceans take things into a soft psych-rock direction before the aforementioned Serpentine provides an early album highlight with its hazy groove and percussive textures. Ouroboros Loop is brief and eclectic while Restless Life is calming, meditative and full of ecclesiastical feedback. My Only Ever Lady sits at the heart of the album giving us raw and passionate romance.
Remember How opens the second half of the album with fuzzy, nostalgic rock. Letting Go of That Too is an intimate interlude. Ecstasy You is rustic and folk-infused. Love Tongue combines acoustic guitar with fuzzy electronica, delicate vocals and visceral lyrics. Underneath the Universe opens with rolling drums before giving us the album’s emotional climax. Truth Loop closes things with a soulful, percussive palate cleanser.
The candidates for album of the year seem to be coming thick and fast for me at the moment, but this is definitely one of them. The Parlor have an unrivalled ability to compose, and this album is a trip from start to end. There were moments that gave me goosebumps. This is album not so much to listen to but to feel and experience.
You can check out You Are Love And I Am You below.