Parquet Courts – Sympathy for Life

After Wide Awake's shift to dance-rock oriented grooves, Sympathy for Life shows Brooklyn post-punks Parquet Courts doubling down

Album Review by Adam Turner-Heffer | 20 Oct 2021
  • Parquet Courts - Sympathy For Life
Album title: Sympathy for Life
Artist: Parquet Courts
Label: Rough Trade
Release date: 22 Oct

Across the past decade, there has been hardly anyone as consistently beguiling and exhilarating as Brooklyn post-punks Parquet Courts. Since their breakout record Light Up Gold, the quartet have put together a mighty back catalogue of brilliance, with 2018's Wide Awake seeing them reach new levels of exposure and popularity. While that album saw the band explore more dance-rock oriented grooves, their latest, Sympathy for Life, shows Parquet Courts doubling down. 

PC's seventh full-length record was, reportedly, built out of long jam sessions, which the group boiled down to palatable chunks which make up the majority of the songs here. While album opener and lead single Walking at a Downtown Pace is classic Parquet Courts at their finest, the album shortly takes on a hypnotic quality from thereon.

The influence from the likes of Talking Heads and Primal Scream is palpable on tracks such as Plant Life, which makes similar use of production trickery to the latter's Screamadelica. Meanwhile, Application Apparatus owes its legacy to the mighty Kraftwerk and fellow practitioners of kosmische Musik. While some may miss the band's more direct approach of previous records, tracks like Homo Sapien show Parquet Courts can still rock out.

Listen To: Walking at a Downtown Pace, Plant Life, Homo Sapien