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Parquet Courts Tease New Album With Frenetic ‘Walking at a Downtown Pace’

Indie rock outfit’s next LP Sympathy for Life will arrive in October

Indie rock outfit Parquet Courts have released a new song, “Walking at a Downtown Pace,” from their next album, Sympathy for Life, out October 22nd via Rough Trade Records.

“Walking at a Downtown Pace” finds Parquet Courts settling into a brisk, bustling groove and coming together for a big chorus of gang vocals: “I’ve found a reason to exist/Written on the tile of the platform wall/Begging not to go extinct to all those who saw.”

“Walking at a Downtown Place” also arrives with a music video, directed by street photographer Daniel Arnold, who captures an array of frenetic, chaotic, euphoric and surreal scenes around New York City.

“That’s what life can be like here; a world of constant motion surrounds you while you’re just walking toward where you need to be,” co-frontman A. Savage said of the clip in a statement. “There’s a lot of beauty that can be missed, and it wasn’t until the streets were virtually empty that I did miss it. The song was written before all quarantine, but eerily enough the lyrics echo that longing.”

Sympathy for Life follows Parquet Court’s 2018 album, Wide Awake! The band built the album largely from improvised jams, drawing inspiration from more groove-oriented music like the Talking Heads and Primal Scream, as well as New York’s club scene and Pink Floyd. Parquet Courts produced the album with Rodaidh McDonald and John Parish.

Wide Awake! was a record you could put on at a party,” Parquet Courts’ other frontman, Austin Brown, said. “Sympathy For Life is influenced by the party itself. Historically, some amazing rock records have been made from mingling in dance music culture – from Talking Heads to Screamadelica. Our goal was to bring that into our own music. Each of us, in our personal lives, has been going to more dance parties. Or rather, we were pre-pandemic, which is when this record was made.”

Parquet Courts are prepping two events around the release of Sympathy for Life. The first, the Power of Eleven, will comprise eleven “global happenings,” each of which are tied to a unique piece of band mercy that will only be available at each event (the band kicked off the series with an event that featured the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Marching Band playing “Walking at a Downtown Pace,” while attendees snagged custom Parquet Courts drumsticks). The other event, Feel Free Sympathy for Life, Visualized, will be a livestream of 11 videos, one for each song on the new album; that will air October 20th and tickets are on sale now.

From Rolling Stone US