Parquet Courts Map Out Americana Byways for ‘Content Nausea’

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 10.16.14 in News

Parquet Courts early on dubbed themselves “Americana punk,” and they’re not through living up to the first half of that descriptor. After 2012′s Light Up Gold sent critics reaching for beloved ’90s college-rock references, this year’s Sunbathing Animal sprawled out with folksy rambles and dirty-blues harmonica. Now, the Brooklyn-via-Texas band centered around Andrew Savage and Austin Brown has announced a new album, Content Nausea, citing rootsy iconoclasts Townes Van Zandt, Warren Zevon and Bob Dylan as jumping-off points for the first streaming track.

Technically, Content Nausea is credited to Parkay Quarts, a name the group used on the cover of 2013′s Tally All the Things that You Broke EP but didn’t trumpet then  in accompanying publicity materials. A press release this time suggests the alternate spelling has to do with a lineup shift: With bassist Sean Yeaton and drummer Max Savage otherwise occupied, the new record mainly features Savage and Brown, with saxophone from Jackie-O Motherfucker’s Jef Brown and fiddle from Eaters’ Bob Jones. At 35 minutes, Content Nausea falls between an EP and an LP, Parquet Courts acknowledge.

Below, listen to “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth,” which Savage says in the release is about “two men tragically colliding in the Deep South.” It’s an alluringly frayed, loping travelogue of the Civil War’s legacy, right up through comparatively contemporary name-checks Reagan and Gore, and it sets organ alongside the usual bass, drums and electric guitar. Maybe paradoxically, the turn toward dusty folk-rock elements doesn’t rid the group of its oft-cited Pavement resemblance: If the deadpan vocals and fuzzy coda aren’t enough to evoke mellow-gold Stephen Malkmus (or at least Silver Jews), bear in mind those other guys had a song that involves Sherman marching through Georgia. Also helping comparisons to wiseass slackers of yore is the fact that Content Nausea was made in a couple of weeks on a four-track tape machine.

Content Nausea includes covers of the 13th Floor Elevators’ “Slide Machine” and Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made of Walking.” It’ll be available digitally on November 11 and physically December 2 via What’s Your Rupture?, Parquet Courts’ usual label home. According to the release, the band intended the record as something that listeners could “live with over the winter.” Scroll down for the cover art and tracklist.

Parquet Courts 'Content Nausea' cover art

Parkay Quarts, Content Nausea (November 11/December 2, What’s Your Rupture?)

1. Everyday It Starts
2. Content Nausea
3. Urban Ease
4. Slide Machine
5. Kevlar Walls
6. Pretty Machines
7. Psycho Structures
8. The Map
9. These Boots
10. Insufferable
11. No Concept
12. Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth