While he's best known for decades of drumming in Aloha, Yeasayer, and such high profile side hustles as Passion Pit, Chet Faker, and Joan of Arc, Cale Parks has become more of a mood-altering electronic producer in recent years. The first sign of that shift was 2015's Lagoon Fool EP, a multi-faceted record that featured lots of interlocking melodies and everything from acid techno asides ("Big Hills") to piano-laced synth progressions ("Jade").
This year's Boards EP ventures even further into the ether, piling on the sort of polychromatic chords, artful hooks, and mood-altering melodies one might find on an old Air or Durutti Column album. A lot of this has to do with how it was made: in Parks' home studio rather than a cramped apartment room, which gave him space to think and toy with a wide range of instruments. Listeners can thank a long overdue lifestyle change: a move from Brooklyn to Kansas City that made Parks look at music differently.
"I didn't own a car in New York," he explains, "so all of my listening was done as I walked around the city. There's something about the energy of New York that requires that electricity. Moving to Kansas changed the style of music I wanted to hear; I wanted room to let records breathe."
While he's best known for decades of drumming in Aloha, Yeasayer, and such high profile side hustles as Passion Pit, Chet Faker, and Joan of Arc, Cale Parks has become more of a mood-altering electronic producer in recent years.
To call this ‘perfect pop’ seems almost a slight. There’s a level of musicianship and attention to detail here that lifts this way beyond any 80s pastiche. Wild Nothing could have gone toe to toe with any of synth pop’s pioneers.
This EP, for me, is his high point so far. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve just repeatedly played a record back to back. Can’t recommend this highly enough. BASICcomic