With a sexy vintage feel, unashamed onstage arrangements and modern tunes, Parlour Tricks are one of the freshest up and coming bands out there. Their live performances are visually impeccable, with choreographed dances and theatrics. But the visuals at no times eclipse their beautiful, energetic and at times, heart wrenching three part harmonies. Their lustrous melodies and evocative lyrics are only one of the reasons we absolutely love the Parlour Tricks.
Their feel good anthems such as “Lovesong” are infectious and so are their personalities. We had a sit down with the three vocalists Lily Cato, Darah Golub and Morgane Moulherat.
How did you guys form the band and when did all of this start for you ?
Lily: The band started about 4 years ago. We met in college. I started writing music and I asked the guys in the band to play with me because I wasn’t any good and we started playing shows around the city and the more I was writing the more I was hearing three part vocal harmony. So I asked these two [Morgane and Darah] to join even though we had never sung together, I admired their voices. We were in music school, so I’d hear them sing and it worked ! I count them joining the band as when we actually really started.
So when the girls joined, you didn’t know if your voices would sound any good ? Was it a feeling you had ?
Lily: It was wishful thinking I think, because I really liked them. We weren’t even friends, were we?
Morgane : We knew of each other
Darah : It was mutual admiration, I think.
Lily Claire: We were in the mutual admiration society. But yeah, it just worked out really nicely and it made my life easier because everything I was writing needed them.
Where did the idea for the band’s name come from ?
Lily: Up close magic, I liked the imagery that it conjures.
For those who don’t know the band, how would you describe your music ?
Lily: Vocal harmony driven indie poprock. Something like that. That sounds so much lamer than what it is… It’s a whole load of different genres blended together and vocal harmony is at the core of it.
So what is the main genre you would place your music in ?
Lily : In writing I have so many influences and then separately, in the way we arrange together, we have other influences. It’s like all over the place. I have a lot of writing influences from like the 50s and 60s, rock’n’roll groups and stuff like that and then it’s much more 80’s and 90s, r’n’b industrial music… So I think we can’t really limit it to one particular genre.
What was the creative process behind your new album Broken Hearts/Bones ?
Lily: It took us a long time. We didn’t start out with an album in mind. We were in development with a label and they asked us to record three demos which we went and did. And something really clicked with the producer with whom we had never worked with and we just wanted to keep going. So the idea for the album was born out of the relationship with this amazing, creative person and we wanted to explore that more.
What was it like working with the producer Emery Dobyns, then ?
Lily: It was really special. We had been all over the place. As disparate as our tastes are, that’s kind of how we used to be on stage. It was like a big, underrehearsed mess. But at the core of it there was something we couldn’t quite figure out how to properly articulate and we had never worked with a producer like that before where it was really like taking the songs, working them through and finding everyone’s voice cohesively through all of the songs. And he did that really easily. And suddenly it was like : “oh there is a through line”, we just didn’t know what it was before.
Morgane: It felt like he had this flashlight. That we were just feeling everything and he was just like guiding us.
Lily : Yeah and it wasn’t easy, but it was a joyful experience. It was a lot of learning and I don’t know, it just felt really good. So over the course of a year and a half we were able to keep going back to Nashville to work with him for pockets of time and then finally this past winter we decided it was it. We had sixteen or so songs and we chose ten. And we have a great label who wanted to put it out… And here we are !
If you could work with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be ?
Lily: Well, I wouldn’t work with him. I’d just make out with him.
Darah: You would marry him.
Lily: No I would just make out with him… We’re talking about Elvis Presley. No, it would be a great gift for the three of us to sing harmony for Tom Waits. That would be a very special treat. I would do anything he asked…
What is it like touring in such a big band ?
Lily : It’s so much fun ! We joke that this six way relationship is the healthiest we have in any of our lives. Like not remotely romantic or anything like that. It’s just the most…
Darah: It’s just the most well functioning
Lily: It’s just peaceful. Like if anyone is in a bad mood, we just allow them to keep to themselves. And the one time we ever fight, I think the band will end !
Morgane: ‘Cause we have arguments that are perfectly.. It’s like the ideal argument. Somebody brings up a point and we talk about it and all the egos are removed.
So you’re like the old couple of bands really ?
Morgane: We are in so many ways the old couple of bands ! We treasure going home early after shows and have tea and icecream…