Foreign Tapes

Written by Sheshtyn De Souza

There must something special going down at Jonathan Boulet’s house. Well, garage to be precise. Parades’ album, Foreign Tapes, recorded in band member Jonathan’s garage, is auditory heaven. Think the ridiculously beautiful music of Sigur Rós but with electro, piano and rock elements. Each track is varied and there is never a dull moment while listening to it. It seems Parades approached this album with an experimental attitude and vision for their music, and created a masterpiece.

Foreign Tapes begins with the track ‘Dead Nationale’, a subdued track composed of fast-paced drums, guitar and subtle, nonchalant male vocals. A more ethereal sound with the soft, clear vocals of Rebecca Shave begins ‘Hunters’. I love Parades’ use of piano, softening the harsher electro-rock strands. Rebecca’s beautiful vocals enrich many of the tracks on the album so much, she should be a member of the four-piece, all boy band in her own right.

‘Invaders’ starts with a mysterious echo that evolves into an electronic drum beat and accompanying airy sound effects. It’s an interesting, enthralling approach. A richer electro-keyboard sound comes from ‘Springboarder’, which begins subtly and speeds up. Parades experiment with electro sounds and it comes together wonderfully.

The band incorporates more traditional piano with Rebecca’s vocals for ‘Lung Full of Light’, which I think is the most beautiful track on the album. It’s melodic, soft and ethereal. ‘Loserspeak In New Tongue’ is a very different track in comparison; off-beat, more upbeat and incorporating diverse sounds. Listening to one track right after the other just shows how musically varied Foreign Tapes is, with each track having something different to give. Altogether, it’s beautiful piece of work – not bad for a garage production.

Foreign Tapes is out 23rd April. The lead single ‘Past Lives’ is available now. Find it on iTunes

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