In April Lonely Parade announced their signing to Buzz Records with the premiere of their single, “I’m So Tired,” on Noisey. Yesterday, the band announced their Buzz Records debut LP, The Pits, which will be out on the label on September 14th. To mark the announcement the band have shared the second track from the album, “Night Cruise,” with it’s accompanying video as part of a feature with Rookie.
Formed in Peterborough, Ontario when the members were in their early teens, and garnering international attention for an album they recorded while barely out of high school (2016’s No Shade), that earned the band an invite to Iceland Airwaves, and tours in support of Nap Eyes, Weaves, Ought and PUP, Lonely Parade are ready to make good on their early promise, and the exhilarating “Night Cruise” provides a mesmerizing sample of what’s to come. Built around Augusta Veno’s spiralling, stop-start guitar lead, the track showcases the group’s technical prowess in their sure-handed navigation of the song’s halting rhythms and their penchant for observational and relatable songwriting. While much of their forthcoming full length was written about the collapse of the band’s small-town scene before their recent move to Montreal, “Night Cruise,” is a sunnier reflection on small-town nights spent in cars, as Veno tells Rookie.
“If you’re in Peterborough and your friend has a car, the only thing to do is go to McDonald’s,” says Veno. “This song is about this boy I met, started cruising around with, and thought we were in love. We would just drive around every corner of Peterborough. I wanted us to drive forever because I had a crush on him and didn’t want to go home. We used to play a lot of basketball with that guy too and dance around to pop music at our friends’ apartments. We were all insecure babies, so the first time we felt alright was getting drunk and dancing with our friends.”
Lonely Parade spent the end of last year commuting back and forth between Toronto and Montreal as they worked on their Buzz Records debut with producer/engineer Josh Korody (Fucked Up, Weaves, Dilly Dally) and Shehzaad Jiwani of Greys at Toronto’s Candle Recording Studio. The resultant LP, entitled The Pits, refines the technically complex instrumentation and hooky fuzz-blasted songwriting upon which the trio have built their budding reputation, drawing on influences ranging from the warped punk hooks of Uranium Club to the guitar interplay of cult Canadian band Women, to releases from Lonely Parade’s now Buzz Records label mates Weaves and Dilly Dally.
Appropriately for a band who have rapidly and publicly developed their idiosyncratic prowess, the album embodies an irrepressible spirit of self-discovery, both in its constantly probing and inventive construction and in its subject matter, which concerns the collapse of the band member’s place in the small town where they grew up. Written quickly and unsparingly, the album captures the band’s lyricists, Charlotte Dempsey and Augusta Veno at a time when their understanding of their world was rapidly evolving. Steeped in a biome of scene drama (Dempsey says the album’s central narrative began to emerge “when people from our town started dating each other and found out how shitty they were”) but buoyed by clear-eyed observations and a penchant for grounding details and turns of phrase, the album’s 10 songs display a compositional faculty and wry humor that communicate a remarkably fully realized vision for a band making its first steps into the wider world.
“I don’t think there’s any way we could write another album like this now,” laughs Dempsey. “It’s charged with a very specific negative energy. We were friends with almost everyone in our tiny scene, and now no one talks to each other and nothing feels as penultimate as how it did in Peterborough then. It’s so tiny there that if you fuck one thing up with someone and then go downtown, everybody knows. It just started feeling really small.”
The sense of ex-urban ennui permeates the record, but the subject matter contrasts pointedly with the band’s imaginative musicianship and technical prowess. While the lyrics dwell on topics like bad roommates in shit hole apartments (“New Roomate”), joyrides around town with a crush where the only place to go is a fast food drive-through (“Night Cruise”), and punching through numbness and exhaustion to rediscover self-worth (“I’m So Tired”), Lonely Parade strike a balance between grungy guitar pop and math rock adjacent post-punk that’s both immediate and cerebral in its construction. Melancholy, but never dour; technical, but always engaging; sincere, but never self-serious, the record provides an antidote to so many of the ideas that dominate the post-punk landscape and serves as a bold statement of purpose from a uniquely exciting band.