It always does me proud to discover a local band making quality music that's true to the landscape of this varied terrain. Rocky, cool, stormy, eclectic, thoughtful and laid back, these words only begin to describe the Parlour Steps sound. One of Vancouver’s long-standing bands, these elegant and lovely locals have been charming Vancouver with their sweet melodic and wide open sounds for 9 years now, and with 4 full-length albums to their credit, a few lineup changes, and a string of excellent live shows, the band is stronger than ever and ready to rock.
I have a flu-stricken Caleb Stull (vocals, guitar, songwriting) on the phone, who is gracious enough to play interview with me. And even in sickness his enthusiasm is clear.
“We’re a great unit with an awesome dynamic,” says Stull. “We play well together and we’re friends. I think this is the most solid lineup we’ve had. We’re all into what we’re doing whereas before, some people didn’t want to tour or they were in other bands, so with this lineup now it seems everyone’s ambition matches and we’re ready for the work”
And it’s no surprise that these kids (including guitarist Reese Hayes, bassist Julie Bavalis, and drummer Rob Linton) are riding a well-deserved wave of success with the release of their fourth album Ambiguoso and garnering the attention of ears on both sides of the border.
“I recorded and mixed the whole of Ambiguoso at Vogville Recordings in Port Moody,” Stull explains. “Vogville’s great - they have a good room with really good equipment and it’s a chance to relax a bit away from the city pace. It took us about 5 weeks to finish the record from first note to last, which was interesting because it’s been sort of our MO to take much longer,” Stull says with a laugh. “But it worked well within the deadline we had, in that we didn’t get time to second-guess ourselves or to kill it with over-production. I think the deadline was serving to the core, raw vision of the record and we produced cohesive moments in time that we’re proud of.”
And having been recently picked up by Nine Mile Records (based out of Massachusetts), this could be the momentum they’ve been looking for.
“The Nine Mile Records people are great folks. They’re music-lovers who are really supportive in feeding the small indie music machine and have been helping us get a lot of attention, both in tour support and radioplay. One of the missing links before, when we were touring, was that we just didn’t have the team backing to get us interviews, reviews and general exposure that we needed. The promotion side was lacking, and Nine Mile offers a bit of that.”
And to add to their list of achievements, the band has just finished shooting a video for “Thieves of Memory,” a snappy little ditty that won them the 2005 songwriters’ competition (featuring a panel of judges that included Tom Waits, Isaac Brock, and Loretta Lynn).
Yes, the talent in this town does my heart good.
Parlour Steps play support to the Buttless Chaps’ 10th Anniversary Concert @ Biltmore Cabaret (395 Kingsway), Fri.Apr.4th.
Posted: May 1, 2008