Photo by Michael Minasi/KUTX
The Star Parks of today might be larger in scope than the solo project launched by songwriter Andy Bianculli in 2016. But they’re cut from the same cloth. His full-bodied pop examines themes of alienation and disappointment in alternately melancholy or jaunty terms. Now a veritable mini orchestra, the Austin-based band recently released their sophomore album, The New Sounds of Late Capitalism, on Valentine’s Day. The album’s eleven tracks possess a clear disaffection with the expansive arrangements disguising often cynical lyrics. There’s a distinct 1960s inspiration; the production embraces a dated Martin Denny exotica, and the first 15 seconds of opener “Palm Sunday” feature lingering, pensive ahh’s and chimes that immediately call Pet Sounds to mind.
You can hear a lot of influences, from Brian Wilson to Kevin Parker of Tame Impala, but Bianculli has more unique ambitions in mind. Framing their music, with help from producer Danny Reisch, in a lush pop cinemascope, Bianculli’s songs are about capturing rarified moments of inspiration, even if, in his words, they “inevitably lead to disappointment.” The New Sounds of Late Capitalism dives into this concept with substantial lyrics of ennui and heartbreak adding yet another layer to the already textured sound.
Recently back home from a one month tour of the Midwest, Star Parks is celebrating The New Sounds of Late Capitalism with an album release show on Friday, March 6 at Barracuda with The Deer and Berkshire Hounds.
In the meantime, get acquainted with Star Parks by checking out their performance of “Oh Boredom (Shmaltz City, USA)” from their recent Studio 1A Session. You can find the whole session with interview here.
Star Parks’ full lineup consists of Andy Bianculli, Nathaniel Klugman, Sam Pankey, Andy Beaudoin, Sam Howden, Derek Phelps, Wayne Myers and Carolyn Trowbridge.
Video by Gabriel C. Perez