Northern New South Wales is summer country. The weather is warm, the sunshine is copious, and if you’re close to the ocean, you’re treated to some of the best waves a surfer could ask for. The irresistibly funky pop band Parcels is based in Berlin these days, but their daylight-drenched sound and style give their origins away: they come from Byron Bay in Australia, a peninsula surrounded by beaches on three sides, far closer to easygoing Brisbane than serious-minded Sydney. Salt air, warm breezes, refracted sunlight — it’s all audible in the music they make.
“Comingback” is their latest single, and it’s a sunny day condensed into three minutes — a glorious, radiant pop-soul song and an expression of their wild, bright-horizon optimism, too. The musical hallmarks that have made Parcels a band to watch are present here: propulsive, danceable beats, delicate synthesizer and piano, a rapturous lead vocal, and a lightness of spirit that animates all of the band’s recordings. Echoes of the Beatles, classic seventies disco, Aussie new wave, pure Southern California sunshine pop, surf-rock, and sweet-strummed singer-songwriter music are audible in the mix, but what really makes “Comingback” irresistible is the feeling of velocity that the group is able to summon. Everything about this band moves – toward happiness, toward release and liberation, toward the pure fun and sense of togetherness of the seaside experience.
That’s the quality that drew the notoriously selective producers in Daft Punk to work with Parcels on their 2017 single “Overnight.” It’s the quality that made Parcels, the group’s 2018 debut full-length, an underground favorite on several continents, and compelled the NME to compare them to “the Beach Boys gone electro-disco.” It’s also there in the group’s live shows, where a freewheeling sense of limitless possibilities prevails.
About the video
The “Comingback” video is all about motion, too: speed, dance, freedom, wide roads, and wider skies. The cliff is a blast of pure illumination, and the footage is drenched in the long, golden rays of the setting sun. Oliver Rose’s camera catches the five members of Parcels in the desert — it might be Australian, and it might be Southern Californian, too. Whether they’re skipping and running at top speed with their musical instruments in hand or singing together in a speeding car, the message is the same. They can’t stand still. And with music as effervescent as this, it’s not hard to understand why.