Parquet Courts Announce New Album, ‘Wide Awake!’

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Today, Parquet Courts announce their fifth album, Wide Awake!, which will be released on May 18th via Rough Trade. Wide Awake! is a groundbreaking work, an album about independence and individuality but also about collectivity and communitarianism. Love is at its center. There’s also a freshness here, a breaking of new territory that’s a testament to the group’s restless spirit.

Part of this could be attributed to the fact that Wide Awake! was produced by Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse, but it’s also simply a triumph of songwriting. “The ethos behind every Parquet Courts record is that there needs to be change for the better, and the best way to tackle that is to step out of one’s comfort zone,” guitarist/singer A Savage says of the unlikely pairing. “I personally liked the fact that I was writing a record that indebted to punk and funk, and Brian’s a pop producer who’s made some very polished records. I liked that it didn’t make sense.” It was Danger Mouse, an admirer of the Parquet Courts, who originally reached out to them, presenting them with just the opportunity to stretch themselves that they were hoping for.

The songs, written by Savage and Austin Brown but elevated to even greater heights by the dynamic rhythmic propulsion of Max Savage (drums) and Sean Yeaton (bass), are filled with their traditional punk rock passion, as well as a lyrical tenderness. The record reflects a burgeoning confidence in the band’s exploration of new ideas in a hi-fi context. For his part, Savage was determined not to make another ballad heavy record like the band’s 2016 Human Performance. “I needed an outlet for the side of me that feels emotions like joy, rage, silliness and anger,” he says. They looked to play on the duality between rage and glee like the bands Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, and Black Flag. “All those bands make me want to dance and that’s what I want people to do when they hear our record,” adds Savage. For Brown, death and love were the biggest influences. Brown has never been so vulnerable on a Parquet Courts record, and the band, for all their ferocity, has never played so movingly; it’s a prime example of Brown “writing songs I’ve been wanting to write but never had the courage.”

For the two primary songwriters, Wide Awake! represents the duality of coping and confrontation. “In such a hateful era of culture, we stand in opposition to that — and to the nihilism used to cope with that — with ideas of passion and love,” says Brown. For Savage, it comes back to the deceptively complex goal of making people want to dance, powering the body for resistance through a combination of groove, joy, and indignation, “expressing anger constructively but without trying to accommodate anyone.”

1. Total Football
2. Violence
3. Before the Water Gets Too High
4. Mardi Gras Beads
5. Almost Had to Start a Fight/In And Out of Patience
6. Freebird II
7. Normalization
8. Back to Earth
9. Wide Awake
10. NYC Observation
11. Extinction
12. Death Will Bring Change
13. Tenderness

Thu. Feb. 22 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Coconut Grove Ballroom w/ Thurston Moore, Heron Oblivion
Fri. Feb. 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever w/ Mary Lattimore ***SOLD OUT***
Sat. Feb. 24 – Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever w/ Anna St. Louis ***SOLD OUT***
Tue. Apr. 24 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Thu. Apr. 26 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s – Levitation w/ Ty Segall
Fri. Apr. 27 – Norman, OK @ Norman Music Festival
Sat. Apr. 28 – Dallas, TX @ Sons of Hermann Hall
Sun. Apr. 29 – Englewood, CO @ The Gothic Theatre
Sat. May 5 – Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Festival
Wed. May 23 – Boston, MA @ Royale w/ Goat Girl
Thu. May 24 – Providence, RI @ Fete Ballroom w/ Goat Girl
Fri. May 25 – Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall w/ Goat Girl
Sat. May 26 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount w/ Goat Girl
Sun. May 27 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Theatre w/ Goat Girl
Mon. May 28 – Detroit, MI @ El Club w/ Goat Girl
Wed. May 30 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre w/ Goat Girl
Thu. May 31 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line w/ Goat Girl
Fri. June 1 – Lawrence, KS @ The Granada w/ Goat Girl
Sat. June 2 – St Louis, MO @ Ready Room w/ Goat Girl
Sun. June 3 – Nashville, TN @ Basement East w/ Goat Girl
Tue. June 5 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel w/ Goat Girl
Wed. June 6 – Carborro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle w/ Goat Girl
Thu. June 7 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club w/ Goat Girl
Fri. June 8 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer w/ Goat Girl
Wed. July 4 – Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
Thu. July 5 – Hamburg, DE @ Molotow
Fri. July 6 – Groningen, NL @ Vera
Sun. July 8 – Hérouville saint Clair, FR @ Festival Beauregard Festival
Thu. July 12 – Bilbao, ES @ Bilbao BBK Festival
Sat. July 14 – Beccles, UK @ Latitude Festival
Sun. July 15 – Kortrijk, BE @ De Kreun
Tue. July 17 – Duedingen, CH @ Bad Bonn

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