Green in the scene

Sunparlour Players released their third album Us Little Devils

Sunparlour Players’ lead singer and founder Andrew Penner (right) had his first musical experience singing in a choir at a Mennonite church.
Sunparlour Players’ lead singer and founder Andrew Penner (right) had his first musical experience singing in a choir at a Mennonite church.
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Sunparlour Players’ newest album features the band’s typical farm references with electronic and punk touches.

Lead singer Andrew Penner grew up on a tomato farm in Southern Ontario. His roots inspired multiple references to agriculture in the band’s debut album Hymn for the Happy. Last month, Sunparlour Players put out their third album, Us Little Devils.

Penner said although he hasn’t thought about it much, the band has grown a lot since releasing their debut in 2007.

“You know, we’ve toured a lot and you’re always trying to change stuff, change up things, figure out new ways of approaching things and try not to stop doing things that work,” he said.

On the band’s sophomore album, Wave North, they experimented and collaborated with a choir. Moving forward, Penner said they’re sticking with the core group — Penner, Dennis Van Dine and Michael Rosenthal.

“To me, I like listening to records that kind of push and pull and don’t necessarily do the same thing each track,” he said.

Their new release uses 11 different instruments, ranging from a banjo and organ pedal, to a glockenspiel and clarinet.

Though they’ve grown, their dynamic has stayed the same.

“It changes from song to song. We’re pretty good together,” Penner said.

He said he doesn’t foresee major changes in the band’s future.

“The idea of where we’re going hasn’t changed all that much, more of doing exactly what we’re doing.”

The new album showcases a variety of sounds, which Penner said he leaves to the listener to figure out.

“I get pretty excited by new sounds and new ideas all the time, we really don’t lock anything up when we make our records,” he said.

The band will head to Kingston on Dec. 1 as part of their Ontario tour. Penner admits they’ve experienced good and bad days on the road.

“Sometimes it’s not because it sounds bad, it’s just what happens when you get together with an audience or with each other. Every gig is different,” Penner said. “It’s really about the people you meet. The towns don’t stick out as much as the people do.”

Sunparlour Players plays Zappas Lounge on Dec. 1 with the Sadies.

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