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New Music: Parlor Walls – “Birthday”

After two EPs and a few years of electric live shows, Opposites is the forthcoming full-length debut from the Brooklyn art-punk trio Parlor Walls (perhaps known to close readers of this website as the new project of EULA singer Alyse Lamb).

“Birthday,” premiering on SPIN today, is a sprawling highlight from Opposites that takes the album title literally: Over five minutes, the song tugs the listener back and forth between two drastically different zones. For half of “Birthday,” Lamb’s guitar strumming is layered with harmonious saxophone from Kate Mohanty and a gentle descending synth bass line from drummer/keyboardist Chris Mulligan. For the other half, they ride a repeated primal rhythm in 5/4 time, with blasts of noise from Lamb and Mulligan anchoring the groove while Mohany’s atonal leads flail against its edges. “Don’t you know I’m perfect?” Lamb asks again and again, increasing the intensity of her demand each time. It’s a bracing listen.

Hear “Birthday” below via Soundcloud.

Opposites is out March 10 via Northern Spy.

Tags: Parlor Walls