By Kellie Vinal
In the age of relentless social media self- promotion, artists of all genres add to the cacophony of Facebook announcements, “follow us!” Twitter mentions, t-shirt design contests and Instagram-filtered kitten-themed show announcement flyers in the hopes of getting re-tweeted or winning over the hearts of new fans.
But not Parquet Courts. Their style is more of the, “if you want it, come get it” variety.
Before releasing EP Tally All The Things That You Broke, they quietly sent out a couple hundred cassette tapes to fans and friends. The mixtape, unannounced and actually containing only one Parquet Courts song, displayed a telephone number with the words, “Please share with the rest of humanity” where fans could leave a voicemail message with feedback. The rest of the tape is filled with songs by friends and peers — a snapshot of the scene they’re a part of.
They have no affiliation with the Facebook page that claims to be official, nor do they know who’s running “their” Twitter account.
They prefer their fans to be kindred spirits, of sorts — into curiosity-driven forays into the underground scene. They want to be sought out and genuinely enjoyed, not shoved down fans’ throats and won over for any reason other than their music being dope.
Scribbled on the cover of the Tally All the Things That You Broke EP are five “self-evident truths” about life, taken from songs on the album. In their creation process, Parquet Courts focuses first and foremost on the lyrics, which are honest and philosophical, but silly too. Lyrics and melodies are woven together, and the rest of the music comes together naturally, intertwining and coalescing in a delightfully unique post-punk product about love, heartbreak, snacks and running from the cops.
Attend one of their shows, and you’ll see that despite their nonchalant promotion strategy and elusive nature, they deliver. They perform each note and lyric forcefully from the heart, authenticity and charm emanating from the stage.
Brooklyn-based by way of Denton, Texas, Parquet Courts consists of brothers Andrew and Max Savage, Austin Brown and Sean Yeaton, who’s actually from Boston. In focusing on authenticity of their craft, these kids are doing it right — and people are starting to notice. Debut album Light Up Gold was featured on Pitchfork’s Top Albums of 2013 list, and they recently played “Stoned and Starving” on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” They’ve crossed the pond and are tak- ing the UK by storm, and you can find them at Sasquatch! Music Festival this summer.
They’ll never tell you themselves, but Parquet Courts is certainly worth keeping tabs on. It’s unclear what their next move is, but it’s probably going to be fun, loud, and a little nonsensical.
One thing, however, is clear — they’ll let the music speak for itself.
Photo Courtesy of Ben Rayner.