December 6, 2017

All Ears On: Parcels

Article Submitted to the Polaroid Originals Magazine by Aude Gouaux-Langlois.

Signed to Parisian lifestyle label Kitsuné, there’s something magnetic about the five young musicians that combine to form Parcels. Having collaborated with contemporary disco giants Daft Punk on their single, “Overnight”, Jules, Noah, Anatole, Louie, and Pat are serving up a modern take on a ‘70s-inspired sound. We met the lively group on a crisp winter’s afternoon in Berlin where they welcomed us in their cozy studio whilst rehearsing for their current European tour. It takes no time for their infectious bond and funky guitar riffs to win us over, and secure them a place in our list of top bands to keep an ear on in 2018.

Parcels shot by Jessica Polar
Parcels shot by Jessica Polar
Parcels shot by Jessica Polar

Is it intentional that your music pays homage to the sound of the ‘70s?

Jules: For me, it’s something nostalgic because I grew up listening to records and listening to ‘70s music. So all of the music that I was listening when I was a kid had the strongest influence on me. It’s the music that makes me feel the most emotion, so naturally, I am very attached to that style.

Do you feel it’s something you guys share as a band, that inspires your sound?

Noah: No, for me I came across it later with the whole idea of the project. More like ‘70s disco… but it’s fun that I had the chance to learn about it on the way. I think it’s normal to be influenced by what your parents listened to as a kid, and mine hated disco because it was already uncool when they were getting into music. And so that was never something that was played in my house.

Anatole: We used to crank Bonnie and Grace: my mum would love them! Like a cleaning-the-house playlist.

Jules: Yes disco especially I had no idea about until very late. Actually, I didn’t like disco. It really put me off. I had more roots in funk music for many many years. That’s really what got me going because we also had a music festival that was really quite famous in Byron Bay. The “Blues & Roots Music Festival”. There were a lot of really really good funk bands playing there and it was the first music that I saw live, with huge drums and bass.

Noah: If you’re from Europe there are those kinds of festivals all over, but for us, it was a big deal that it was right there in our hometown.

Louie: It’s pretty crazy that we saw most of the legendary bands. Byron was special in that way, this tiny little town with this amazing scene.

Photo: Jessica Polar
Photo: Jessica Polar
Photo: Jessica Polar
Photo: Jessica Polar
Photo: Jessica Polar
Parcels shot by Jessica Polar

How did working with Daft Punk influence your musical direction?

Louie: It definitely did because it was the first time we were in the studio together as a band. Before we were just working off demos at home and never really went into a studio together as Parcels. After we left that session, we were just so inspired to record together with live drums etc. And of course, we learned so much from them as far as production. Just the confidence it gave us basically was the biggest thing. We realized we can do this ourselves, we don’t need anybody. I felt like it solidified the idea of the band for us.

Did the experience change anything musically for the direction of the sound?

Pat: I think that musically it helped us to relax a little bit about what kind of music we were going to make, as long as we were just making it in the studio together. Whereas before we had strong ideas about how it was supposed to sound.

Noah: Those guys have such a broad musical understanding and they like music from all genres. They would put in all these references from all different places. It definitely opened us up as a band.

Parcels shot by Jessica Polar

So it felt more like they were mentoring you as opposed to just producing your music?

Noah: 100%. In the last 6 months, it changed for us. Now we simplify everything.

Pat: It definitely got us more inspired by the art of songwriting. Writing a good song first and putting that above everything else, rather than focusing on the production and the little bits and bobs that make a record shiny.

Jules: That’s the minimalism that I love about Daft Punk. It’s really just about having that one good idea and trusting in it; put all the focus on that.

Then would you say that to write authentic songs in the digital era means staying true to your own ideas?

Jules: Yeah. To keep on track is to know that if it’s a good song, it doesn’t matter how you produce it, the song will come through. If it’s a good enough idea, it doesn’t matter what you do with it. If the melody and the chords are right, it’s just about putting them at the forefront and making them the focus.

Pat: It is definitely less focused on the songwriting these days, I guess with all the post-production that is going on. Half of the song is created in that part of the process, which can sometimes be cool. But this is what I mean when I say we’ve decided to focus on the song itself, how they used to in the ‘70s, more than they do now.

What can we expect from you guys in 2018?

So muuuuch. It’s all big plans but nothing is tangible yet, but for sure more new music, and more shows. Watch this space.

Parcels shot by Jessica Polar

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