It’s no surprise that Parcels sold out U Street Music Hall, their very first show in DC, weeks in advance. Ever since the Australia-via-Germany five-piece band co-wrote “Overnight” with a little duo known as Daft Punk in 2017, they’ve been building considerable buzz. Inevitably, they’ve also drawn comparisons to the French duo’s 2014 record Random Access Memories. And while there's no doubt that Niles Rodgers’s funky guitar riffs were a touchpoint in songs like “Lightenup” and “Overnight,” they have no interest in being a carbon copy of the past. Their songs remain distinctive enough, signaling towards modern trends while showing reverence for those that have come before them. (And yes, they dress the part too.)
Kicking off the set with their debut album's one-two intro punch of "Comedown" and "Lightenup" was the perfect remedy for those annoyed by the slushy snow outside that night. The airtight production translated into a live setting for some of the cleanest and funkiest guitars this side of Chic and distinctly immaculate harmonies. Parcels are also unique in that there isn’t a true ‘lead’ here - practically every lyric is a three- or four-piece harmony. On “Bemyself,” drummer Anatole Serret traded his spot at the back of the stage for vocals up front to help deliver a bass guitar-driven five-piece harmony. Parcels played most of their discography, and yet the audience still clamored for more - people didn’t want to stop dancing the night away. With the reception the band received at U Hall, hopefully it won’t be long until they get to do it again, but at even larger venues.
Parcels’ self-titled debut album is out now through Kitsuné Music.
Opening for Parcels were NYC-based duo Penthouse Boys, whose dance moves and quintessential 80s sound made for a unique performance. Their latest release is the self-released album New in Town.