7 of 7 thought this review was well written
As I listen to Foreign Tapes
more after initially regarding it as another indie album that will get lost in 2010's shuffle of brilliant music, I find that the album is truly an original gift. Comparisons to a more dynamic and tender late-career Minus The Bear come to mind: throw in some airy production and you have Parades. Foreign Tapes
is extremely varied, needing multiple listens to eventually have a grasp on the album and all its wonderful changes in songwriting. While Jonathan Boulet and Daniel Cunningham's sultry, low key vocals complement the serenity of their music, it's the little moments where guest female vocalist Shave appears that gives Foreign Tapes
an enitrely new, worthwhile dimension; after the rocking, rhythm driven opening track "Dead Nationale" comes "Hunters", where the shift from Boulet and Cunningham to Shave changes the dynamic completely, as Parades decide to undertake an icier, piano-led sound to complement the change in vocalist. This give and take ultimately decides the fate of Foreign Tapes
and thankfully they pull it off with absolute cohesion.
Basically, Foreign Tapes
works because it's the culmination of many different ideas which come together in such a way that is memorable and enjoyable throughout, never losing focus on a signature sound while still maintaining large amounts of variation. Whether it's an ambient background over a fast-moving drum machine and soothing vocals from the 3 precipitants in "Invaders" or the slightly distorted, calming "Springboarder", or the brilliant and beautiful "Lung Full Of Light", Foreign Tapes
threatens to take off into the heavens. Yet it's at this point in the album where things take a turn to a more expansive journey as Parades beef up the songwriting into a more obscure arena; "Loserspeak In New Tongue" is a statement if there ever was one. The track is built around Boulet's incredibly catchy vocal line but goes into a restrained frenzy of pulsing percussion and wildly imaginative twists and turns, culminating in a slight, quiet vocal chant which gives way to the undisputed moment of the album (just listen and you'll know what I mean). The song is nearly so good that it makes the following interlude "Tripping Over Your Eyes" either a vibrant cool down or completely useless, whichever way you look at it. Thankfully "Marigold" keeps up the remarkable vibe of "Loserspeak" with an undeniably catchy first half giving way to a simmering second half outro that threatens to fly off the hinges.
Parades have certinaly created one of the more enjoyable and promising debuts of 2010 with Foreign Tapes
. The album is extremely varied but keeps a hold on the listener through a signature sound, one that is highlighted by gorgeous piano melodies and Shave's guest vocals. Whether the album is rocking out or soothing with ambience and quiet conviction, Foreign Tapes
makes Parades a band to watch for in the future.