Parquet Courts – “Walking At A Downtown Pace”
After the extended cut of “Plant Life,” a marching band performing “Walking At A Downtown Pace” through lower Manhattan, and debuting a bunch of new songs onstage in New Jersey, the time has finally come. Parquet Courts have officially announced their new album, the followup to 2018’s Wide Awake! It’s called Sympathy For Life, and it’s out in October.
Sympathy For Life was built primarily from improvised jams, with the band then cutting up and sampling and editing them into songs. The album was produced with Rodaidh McDonald and John Parish, and namechecks influences like Primal Scream, Pink Floyd, and New York clubs. “Wide Awake! was a record you could put on at a party,” Austin Brown said in a press release. “Sympathy For Life is influenced by the party itself. Historically, some amazing rock records have been made from mingling in dance music culture — from Talking Heads to Screamadelica. Our goal was to bring that into our own music. Each of us, in our personal lives, has been going to more dance parties. Or rather, we were pre-pandemic, which is when this record was made.”
Along with the announcement, the band has shared “Walking At A Downtown Pace,” the album’s opener. It comes with a video directed by NYC street photographer Daniel Arnold, with A Savage explaining it depicts “New York City from the vantage point of someone busily hurrying through it.” Savage continues: “That’s what life can be like here; a world of constant motion surrounds you while you’re just walking toward where you need to be. There’s a lot of beauty that can be missed, and it wasn’t until the streets were virtually empty that I did miss it. The song was written before all quarantine, but eerily enough the lyrics echo that longing. Now the city is back and, so it seems, are Parquet Courts.” Check it out below.
In addition to all that, the band has also announced that the Manhattan marching band experience was just the first in a series of “global happenings” called the Power Of Eleven — so there’ll be 10 more, with each having some kind of custom merch available. Details will be available on Parquet Courts’ official website. They’ve also announced Feel Free – Sympathy For Life, Visualised, which is a livestream of 11 videos, one for each of the album’s tracks. That’s happening on 10/20, two day before Sympathy For Life drops, and you can get tickets here.
01 “Walking At A Downtown Pace”
02 “Black Widow Spider”
03 “Marathon Of Anger”
04 “Just Shadows”
05 “Plant Life”
06 “Application Apparatus”
07 “Homo Sapien”
08 “Sympathy For Life”
09 “Zoom Out”
09/18 – Augustine, FL @ Sing Out Loud Festival
09/22 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre *
09/24 – Marfa, TX @ Trans-Pecos Festival
09/26 – Accord, NY @ Woodsist Festival
10/02 – Tampa, FL @ Gasparilla Music Festival
10/29 – Richmond, VA @ The National
10/30 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
10/31 – Lancaster, PA @ Tellus360
11/03 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
11/04 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre
11/05 – Holyoke, MA @ Gateway City Arts
11/06 – Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony
11/17 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
11/19 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheatre
03/15 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
03/16 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
*= supporting Portugal. The Man
Sympathy For Life is out 10/22 via Rough Trade. Pre-order it here.