New Noise: Parcels

For funky electronic soul, tune into Berlin-based, by way of Byron Bay, band Parcels.

Not many bands can say that their name originated from a pastry café, but Parcels, who formed in their final year at high school, aren’t your average funk-electro-soul group. Making the move from their native Byron Bay to the music haven of Berlin with just their keyboards in tow, Parcels took their disco-infused pop onto another level. Taking elements of the techno sound that Berlin is famous for, the band balance their synth-funk sound with techno-tinged keys and soulful twangs, to create a sound that meets in the centre of electro and retro. With the 5-piece taking their cues from the likes of Steely Dan and Chic, Parcels know how to get you on the dance floor.

Sporting a sound that merges contemporary electronica with matured funk disco, the band have managed to create a unique sound that is as sweet as the origin of their name. They achieve their old-school meets new-school sound using wide synth soundscapes, mixed with energetic guitars and a five part vocal harmony. Listening to the quintet’s sound inspires daydreams of Daft Punk frolicking through colourful 70s roller discos. We like the sound of that.

How did you all meet, and who plays what?

We all met through school. Pat plays keys, Jules plays guitar, Noah plays bass, Louis plays keys and Toto plays drums.

Where did the name Parcels come from?

Louie’s parents used to run a pastry cafe called Parcels. We used to practice at Louie’s house all the time before the band was fully formed, and the sign for the old cafe was hung up in their house. It seemed like the way to go.

Why did you decide to move from Byron Bay to Berlin?

We actually didn’t know a lot about Berlin before we moved here. We knew it was an artistic city, that it was the new place for young artists. We wanted a change, and we wanted to be in Europe. Berlin sounded like the perfect candidate, so we just booked our tickets. It hasn’t disappointed.

What do you love about Berlin and how does the music scene there compare to back in Byron Bay?

Berlin is cheap, liberating and crazy fun. Music wise Berlin is much more focused on the electronic, techno club culture. There are local bands playing live shows, but you really have to dig them out, know where to go. In Byron Bay, every man and his dog played the guitar, and there would be small shows in cafes and bars all week. It is a special part of the world.   

Sum up your sound in 5 words?

Disco, Funk, Electronic, Soul, Pop.  

Together you’ve played in everything from metal bands to folk ensembles – how did you settle on funky electro-pop?

As we were finishing school, we began messing around with electronic music programs and beginning to learn about music production. At the same time, we were listening to old soul records, and listening to heaps of disco. Naturally, the music we created ended up being in the middle of electro and retro.

Tell us about your Clockscared EP? What are the main themes, what was the starting point and can you talk us through the tracks?

The Clockscared EP was made by us as we were getting into making electronic music. It was made with just one condenser mic in our bedrooms. It was our first attempt at production, with many nights spent together learning and recording. It was a pretty cool time.   

What’s your writing process like? How do you figure out your vocal harmonies?

Usually one of us will write a song by themselves, and show it to the band. It’s re-worked and re-recorded, adding all the voices and moulding the track with all 5 of our opinions. Vocal harmonies are something that come pretty naturally, we’ve all been singing together for many years.

Your sound is part funk, part modern electro-disco – who would you say are your main influences?

We have influences from all over. Steely Dan, Chic, Daft Punk, Tribe Called Quest.

You recently sold out The Waiting Room! What was that like?

Yeah that was amazing. It was our second show in London, and was great to see so many people there. The vibe in London is so cool, music wise, there’s not many other scenes like it.

What are your favourite things about playing live?

Just the energy and the fun that comes with playing live, being able to connect with the crowd and feel like something special is happening. There’s not many things like it.

What have you got in the pipeline?

New songs are in the work, very excited for that. And we are going to be playing more shows in Europe and Australia this year.

Annabel Lunnon and Mariah Rosslee
New Noise: Parcels

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