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Parquet Courts Prove They’re No Slackers On ‘Wide Awake!’

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Photo: Parquet Courts publicity photo
Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts is a band whose lyrics grab your attention. The words to their songs are often funny, angry or both.

"I like to think that we’re a very lyric forward band," singer and guitarist Austin Brown says. "All of our songs are always about something we feel really strongly about."

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The New York indie band’s new album is “Wide Awake!” And this time, the songs get pretty serious. Brown points to the song “Violence” as one of the most direct songs on the album. It’s a troubling look at everyday life in the U.S.

"By the time you’ve read the news in the morning, you’re reading about some other violent act -- whether it's the police shooting a black person, or a school shooting." Brown says. "And these are things we deal with and see every day."

Those political lyrics might take some fans by surprise. They’re coming from a band that’s known for songs about donuts and candy. That’s often labeled as slackers for their raw sound and lo-fi recordings.

But the band actually fights against the slacker mentality in the new songs.

"These days in American culture, especially with young people, there can be this tendency to gravitate towards nihilism," Brown says. "Or the idea that being genuine is impossible.

"We wanted to make a very direct genuine statement with all these songs and this record to say that we don't believe in nihilism. Nihilism is the way we've gotten a celebrity president and policies that I think are really detrimental to our country."

Parquet Courts can still be funny and serious on “Wide Awake!” The band gets philosophical on “Total Football," but manages to work in an explicit jab at NFL star Tom Brady at the song's conclusion.

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