PARCELS RELEASE NEW SINGLE ‘FREE’ // THE BAND’S FIRST NEW ORIGINAL MUSIC SINCE THEIR ACCLAIMED 2018 DEBUT
Parcels, the five-piece band from Australia, have released their brand new single ‘Free’ via Because Music. It is the first new original studio music to be released by the band since their acclaimed debut album Parcels (2018) and the subsequent Live Vol 1, featuring previously released material (2020).
‘Free’ features Parcels’ trademark vocal harmonies, percussion-laced rhythm, and tight funk guitars. As the song builds, finally erupting euphorically, it evokes feelings of freedom, joy and sun-kissed optimism. The track cleverly shows traces of 70’s nostalgia while sounding completely contemporary all at once. The lyrics reflect the longing for freedom and reuniting the band during lockdown, and also mirror the band’s move from their home country of Australia to Europe, where they recorded the song.
Speaking about “Free” the band explain, “Jules wrote this song one morning when we were in lockdown, split up across separate sides of the globe. While the lyrics appeared to grapple with complications in his long-distance relationships, it couldn’t help but feel like a letter to the rest of the band at the same time. To express oneself openly and truly without fear is a freedom many of us don’t even realize we’re without. Recognizing it is an uplifting moment because then we can start to work on it. In Jules’ case, this manifested in ‘Free’ – a hopeful call across the world for vulnerability and realness from a sunny garden in Mullumbimby.”
They add, “We recorded it live together in the upstairs living room of La Frette studios with a percussionist named Pedro on congas. His playing brought an energy to the first take of the day that lit up the room and the groove sat nicer than it ever had before. We tracked all day but nothing topped the magic in that first moment. In the end that take became the song.”
The new music video for “Free” is the first visual from Parcels setting the stage for more to follow. Directed by Carmen Crommelin, sister of band member Jules Crommelin, she explains how the piece was born. “I started writing scripts for this project sitting on the floor of the room I shared with my little brother at the live-in recording studio La Frette, just outside of Paris. To be fair though, this narrative has been writing itself for some time, given that I’ve witnessed Jules grow up and the other boys develop from young teenagers to young adults. Jules and I live, work and travel together, we move countries endlessly, and have watched each other grow. The band and myself have developed in parallel, as artists and as people.”
She continues, “Making this video has been wild, mostly due to the obstacles of filming in a raging hotspot in Paris and a completely locked down country, Australia – both representative versions of home. It’s why and how I chose to focus on one character from child to adult, to express the deeper conversations I was having with the band, and also what I was feeling at the time. Writing the scripts while Parcels recorded the music around me, was a very special experience. This video blurs reality with fantasy, painful honest truths hidden amongst everyday benign normality. It’s a journey but it’s totally non-linear, and I can’t wait to show everyone where it’s going. ‘Free’ sounds incredibly uplifting and it’s full of hope, but when you listen closely it’s not that simple, but that’s what being a human is right? I think that’s the magic of Parcels.”
The song was written by Jules Crommelin and recorded by the band in La Frette Studios, Paris. The band produced the track themselves, with mixing courtesy of James Ford – Simian Mobile Disco member and producer for bands including Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, The Last Shadow Puppets and Florence and The Machine. Orchestral arrangements are by Owen Pallett, the Oscar-nominated, GRAMMY-winning composer and musician who has notably worked with Arcade Fire among others.
Parcels are: Louie Swain (vocals, keys), Patrick Hetherington (vocals, keys, guitars), Noah Hill (vocals, bass), Anatole “Toto” Serret (vocals, drums), Jules Crommelin (vocals, guitars). They formed in Byron Bay in Australia in their final year of high school.
After relocating to Berlin, Parcels released their alluring debut EP Clockscared in 2015, which featured the spellbinding slow-burn of its title track. The EP led to signing with the attention of legendary French label Kitsuné in 2016, who released an excellent series of singles from the band in 2016 and 2017, including the gorgeous and moonlit “Gamesofluck.”
In 2016, Parcels also played their first gig at Paris venue Les Bains, where Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo happened to be in the audience. The two groups struck up an artistic kinship, and Parcels spent considerable studio time with Daft Punk to craft the elegant, airy 2017 single ‘Overnight’ which followed the Kitsuné-produced EP Hideout and would be performed on Conan later that year for Parcels’ U.S. television debut. ‘Overnight’ was notably the last production work by Daft Punk.
Parcels’ self-titled debut LP was released in 2018, launching the group to new levels of critical and commercial visibility. A lush, exquisitely produced trip through the many intersections between pop and dance music, Parcels showcases just how tight and inventive the group’s songwriting had become, with snapping rhythms and tricky basslines accompanying the group’s feathery, flesh-and-blood vocals. The Evening Standard heralded it as “a fantastic debut album”, with Dork Magazine praising it as “coolly beautiful and entertaining, like a cold margarita during an Ibiza sunset”, in their 4-star review of the album and NME dubbed the record “a debut album that’s cheeky, timeless and devilishly catchy” in their 5-star review.
With over 350 million streams on Spotify, appearances at festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella, and sold-out headline shows across the world, Parcels have already found great success on their winning approach to dance and pop music. And as the group currently puts the finishing touches on their ambitious second album, Parcels are focusing on what it means to be in tune with the world around us, as well as ourselves means being in tune with ourselves—a reflection of the creative process that brought them to this point.
More music from Parcels will follow very soon.