Radar Band Of The Week – No. 120: Parquet Courts

“New York felt like my home before I moved there,” Parquet Courts’ Andrew Savage tells Radar from a diner somewhere in Philadelphia, in between bites of his vegan Philly cheese steak. The band are currently on tour in the States to support the re-release of album ‘Light Up Gold’, after the 500 vinyl copies Savage pressed for his own label, Dull Tools, completely sold out last year.


New York loves them too, as evidenced by the sweaty boxroom that is Brooklyn’s Death By Audio venue a few days later. Packed to the rafters, people surge forward to get a better look at the four plaid-sporting wünderkinds onstage. It wasn’t the bright lights of the Big Apple that made Savage move there though. “I was fleeing Texas,” he explains. “I was born in a college town, which starts to feel old. It gets very crowded after a while.” He refers to the “boys’ club” of bands from his hometown of Denton who dominated the local circuit, citing a few that he played in – Teenage Cool Kids, Wiccans and the actually-pretty-successful Fergus & Geronimo. But the scene got too much, so Savage bolted for NYC, quickly forming Parquet Courts with two buddies and his brother Max.

From the start, everything they did was governed by a sense of who they wanted to be as a band. Mixtapes were compiled and uploaded to their WordPress site, featuring influences from Sonic Youth to The Fall and Brian Eno. Then came ‘Light Up Gold’, which the band recorded last year in a Brooklyn studio the size of a cupboard in just three days. It sounds like music by a band who know exactly what they need, and at its best the album glows with generational consciousness. Tonight’s Brooklyn show sees the crowd keep calling for standout track ‘Stoned And Starving’. A static two-chord stoner anthem that recalls the precision of bands like Television and early REM, it perfectly pins down the feeling of having everything at your fingertips but not knowing what it is that you really want. The crowd surge forward even more. “I really love it here!” Savage screams at them. Something tells us Parquet Courts won’t be playing boxrooms for long.


Based: New York
For Fans Of: The Strokes, Fidlar, Pavement
Buy It Now: ‘Light Up Gold’ is out now
See Them Live: They support The Men this March in the UK
On NME.COM: Watch exclusive on-the-road documentary Careers In Combat
Believe It Or Not: Parquet Courts refers to a type of basketball court flooring – namely that used by the Celtics in Boston (where bassist Sean is from), and the Nets in Brooklyn (where they all live)