Parlour Tricks // Broken Hearts/Bones
by Maggie Danna on June 23, 2015
Posted in: Album Review, Music, Pop
There are few things more exhilarating than discovering a great pop album. Parlour Tricks’ debut album, Broken Hearts/Bones, pronounced “broken hearts and broken bones” and just released today, is one of the more invigorating ones we’ve heard lately. Spotify called their sound “vintage pop for the future”, an accurate description. Broken Hearts/Bones is guitar and synth-driven, while also full of tight three part harmonies with female vocals reminiscent of 1960s’ girl groups such as The Shirelles and The Chiffons. My first listen of Broken Hearts/Bones evoked feelings similar to those from Lucius’ Wildewoman, though Parlour Tricks is a bit gentler while Lucius is more rambunctious.
The opener is “Lovesongs” and most of the songs on the album are just that, bittersweet love songs, nostalgically harmonizing about romantic failures. The title track, “Broken Hearts/Bones”, is superbly melancholic, the kind of song you can listen to on repeat and cry over when you need a good cry (note to self).
“I said I like Bukowski, but I’d never take him home,” the band sings in “Bukowski”. This is one of my favorite lines on the album and strikes me as something a Middlebury student might say while discussing literature with friends over dining hall brunch. “When The Stars Went Out” is a slower, more minimalistic track; the empty space helps the vocals truly stand out, and this is the song in which the power of the band’s harmonies is realized most fully.
Broken Hearts/Bones is one of the most satisfying pop albums I’ve heard in a while; every song is so ridiculously catchy and beautiful that I was tempted to list all of them as the album’s best tracks. The combination of lush vocals, great hooks, and swelling crescendos makes Broken Hearts/Bones such a powerful album and great for summer radio hits.
RIYL: Lucius, Sylvan Esso
Best Tracks: “Broken Hearts/Bones”, “The Storm”, “Lovesongs”, “Walk In the Park”, “When The Stars Went Out”