Pop music has always been the creative mutt of genres, and for Canadian group, Parlovr, it’s also a crossbreed of something tangentially cool yet without focus. The alternative rock band is the latest offspring of Montreal’s enigmatic pop scene, and slowly becoming the biggest thing around that no one knows about. Their synthy rhythms and simple melodies evoke decades of musical experimentation with a redefined modern purpose, and music connoisseurs everywhere are beginning to catch the wave.
“I would describe our sound as ‘sloppy pop’ because it strives for catchy bits without the tightness of ‘commercial’ pop,” notes frontman Alex Cooper. “It’s best enjoyed naked with a piece of blueberry pie. And maybe live.”
There are hints of both garage band funk and electro-pop in their illogical, happy anthems. The trio noticeably abandons classical technique in favor of something more lackadaisical. They’re a blogger’s treat—unknown but quickly spreading like a pandemic among the savviest of online tastemakers. Well-regarded for their charismatic and high-energy stage performance, the band is currently touring the Northeast with fellow Canadians, The Suuns, to promote their self-titled debut album. When all is said and done however, they can also be found playing for a crowd of no one, in a graffiti-laden underground tunnel just for, you know, acoustical value.
“A lot of people have commented on the weird cross section of genres that we play,” explains Cooper. “Some people criticize us for it and others are impressed by it… I think it’s just about writing good songs, which is what we try to do. I personally get bored of things that sound too monolithic.”
Most commonly compared to indie phenom, Arcade Fire, Parlovr doesn’t have a string orchestra, veers specifically towards sarcasm, and is the first to admit it’s “not overly ambitious.” In fact, Parlovr looks more like three college kids plucked from their basement jam session and thrown on stage to carry forth with their routine. Their style is plaid and denim; their faces nondescript; their hair a little longer than necessary. They clearly don’t look too far into anything, preferring instead to enjoy life with a naïve sensibility. Even their moniker (pronounced ‘Parlour,’ but spelled with a ‘v’) is merely a spark of their imagination with a twist.
“It was originally ‘parlour’, but we thought it’d look more evil with a ‘v’ and apparently there were more ‘parlour’ bands out there,” recalls Cooper. “I think there was a time when ‘parlour’ was in line to be the next ‘wolf’. Fortunately, that never saw the light of day.”
The guys pride themselves on an almost irresponsible, uncouth approach to the business of pop production. Their multi-instrumental sonic flair settles them well into the world of indie rock confection, and ultimately came together as “a cheap Kmart guitar with its guts ripped out, a two-piece drum kit and a keyboard with a mind of its own.” This, along with free spirit and blind ambition, and Parlovr hit the ground running.
The lasting thought of their non-didactic pledge is that those who seek the truth will find it by avoiding too much philosophical reasoning. They write about hiccups, sleeping horses, thought clouds and a “palace of identical things.” Their heightened vocals are slightly off kilter, and their guitar riffs are on a faintly different beat from their drumming. Nevertheless, the coalition of noise fuses together impressively. Additionally, the band doesn’t seem easily jaded or daunted by much, and has a relatively realistic vantage point on its own state of affairs.
“One of the toughest things about working in the music industry nowadays is having to keep day jobs while still finding time to write and tour,” adds Cooper. “But, no complaints. We’re lucky to have the opportunity to tour in the first place.”
First Canada, now the States, and pretty soon the world, it’s safe to say Parlovr will enjoy the sweet taste of eminent success as much as the irony in how it all spontaneously came to be.
Upcoming Tour Dates
July 29 – Cafe Campus- Montreal, QC, Canada
Sept 3 – Les Nocturnes Du Musee d’Art Contemporain – Montreal, QC, Canada
Sept 4 – Festival de Musique Emergente – Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada
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– Courtney Garcia