From tragedy comes triumph

One band member’s break up inspired Parlovr’s second album

Parlovr are one of 40 artists on the long list for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize this summer with their sophmore studio album titled Kook Soul.
Parlovr are one of 40 artists on the long list for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize this summer with their sophmore studio album titled Kook Soul.
Photo: 

At the end of a love story fraught with woe and misfortune, Parlovr continues their pursuit of a happy ending through passion and musicianship.

With a self-described ‘anti-romantic’ feel and vibe, Montreal-based band Parlovr splashed across the music scene with their sophmore album Kook Soul — a bonafide “breakup” record with just enough misery to make Adele weep.

The lyrics may result in a flurry of tearstains, but make no mistake, they’ve got personal growth attached to their limericks, inspiration which can be traced to the personal lives of the band’s own Alex Cooper and Louis David Jackson.

Cooper’s romantic past, a primary source of inspiration for the album’s concept, chronicles the musician’s experience, drawn out as a progression of still lenses for the listener to view in full.

“Alex went through a really terrible breakup and Louis had some really tough personal times of his own, so there’s some really tragic, depressing material lyrically,” drummer Jeremy Maccuish said.

Cooper and his lady had taken on the world for the first time as 19-year-olds. They had lived together and had even dwelled on the prospect of marriage. The roots were set deep for a stark upheaval; but what could only have felt like the most forlorn of dénouements would give birth to a deeply contrasting artistry.

After the couple stayed together through Cooper’s illness, they broke up in 2010 after a change of heart.

The remedy for the heartbreak hangover is nothing but a good dose of “sloppy pop”. To achieve that effect, the band infused poppy, uplifting sounds with their haunting lyrics to counterbalance and create an inevitable juxtaposition.

“It’s bold with a ramshackle rock and roll sloppy pop,” he said, adding that the band has “less flick” than what a lot of indie rock sounds like today.

Despite playing with big name acts like Franz Ferdinand and the Artic Monkeys on their cross-Canada tour, the band still stay in humbling accommodations.

“Because we’re too poor to afford hotel rooms, we go on tour and most of the time, we don’t know where we’re gonna be sleeping,” he said.

“So after shows, even if we’re exhausted and we’re sweaty, we try to make as many friends as possible and then we end up crashing on someone’s floor.”

The band will be making their way to Kingston to play at this year’s Wolfe Island Music Festival from Aug. 10 to 11.

For lovers of their sound, their tour and new album is not the last you’ll hear from them this summer — Parlovr is planning to release 10 songs “leftover” from their album.

The band’s latest album, Kook Soul, has also been long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize honour.

Parlovr is playing at the Mansion on June 29.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.