Midday music break: The Parlor

Something to listen to this afternoon (or whenever): "Soon" by The Parlor.

The song is off the new album from Jen O'Connor and Eric Krans, Kiku, which is out today. A few more songs are available over at Soundcloud.

The album continues the evolution of the Altamont duo's sound, incorporating all sorts of loops and synths, And it takes on some very personal and difficult topics. From the accompanying materials:

Kiku, the Japanese word for chrysanthemum, began blooming in Krans and O'Connor's farmhouse garden immediately following their second miscarriage, and so became a symbol of their grief, despair, resilience and faith. "Kiku grew into something we never anticipated." What started only as vague sounds or plucked songs, grew unexpectedly into a kind of synth-folk chamber-pop. As the couple grieved, they wrote, and as they recorded they felt themselves "reaching out across the plane of the living and the dead where we stumbled upon the tiny hand of the soul we lost. We brought a piece of her, of Kiku, back with us." It was as if Kiku shared her spirit through the creation of her eponymous requiem.
'Kiku' sounds moodier, gloomier and more anxious than The Parlor's previous music. It also feels simultaneously relaxed and playful in a way that balances the album's heaviness with a showy bloom; an elaborate floral display. It's a serious, and even sometimes sexy indie-pop drama; a confession of two lovers trying over and over again. As the album's final song fades off into the ether, 'Kiku' comes into focus as a diary of one couple's private and lonely struggle with multiple miscarriage, and their determination not to allow the associated stigmas to silence them.

The Parlor is out on a short national tour right now. They'll be back in town for a house show next week.

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