[GARAGE POP] Speaking with Andrew Savage is similar to listening to Parquet Courts, the New York-based band he fronts. Just as he does throughout the group’s debut album, Light Up Gold, the singer-guitarist wastes few words. He speaks and sings with a clipped directness, cutting right to the point of any subject, whether discussing his baked wanderings through Queens looking for food (as he does in the song “Stoned and Starving”) or the Courts’ first tour of the United States.
“Oh, for sure, it’s been going great,” Savage says via phone from the band’s van en route to Mississippi from Texas. “Lots of people have been coming out, shaking their shit and going nuts.”
Indeed, Light Up Gold is 33 minutes of pure, shit-shakin’ garage-pop glory. The band—which also features Savage’s brother Max on drums, guitarist and co-songwriter Austin Brown and bassist Sean Yeaton—doesn’t bog itself down with self-indulgence, dispensing is almost every song quickly, with an absolute minimum of chord changes.
“We recorded it in three days, live with a few overdubs,” Savage says of the album. “There were definitely a lot of songs that were written in the last few days leading up to the recording, and some during the recording that I think allows for a certain immediacy to the whole thing.”
To spare the trouble of trying to pinpoint all of Parquet Courts’ influences, the group put together an online mixtape in June 2011 laying bare the many reference points that the quartet pulls from—everything from the lo-fi wanderings of Pavement to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s blunted world view. The mix was an unnecessary move, as Savage already worked out many of the same sonic ideas in his other band, Fergus & Geronimo. That duo’s few albums share a terse, fuzzy vibe with Parquet Courts, though augmented with more psychedelic intrusions.
That foundation already laid, the Courts didn’t have to do much work to kick up some dust on music blogs soon after its first album was released on a micro-indie label last summer (it was recently reissued on What’s Your Rupture?).
Savage, though, is quick to point out that the attention from music tastemakers didn’t come immediately.
“The band is 2 years old at this point,” Savage says. “We were lying low and doing our thing for a while before people all around the U.S. started listening and wondering about us. I am surprised at the reaction and the enthusiasm, but it wasn’t like an overnight thing.”
Parquet Courts isn’t planning to coast on this current wave of chatter, either. The quartet hopes to have another album completed this year, and will probably crisscross America a few more times before it takes the foot off the gas pedal.
SEE IT: Parquet Courts plays Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., with Nucular Aminals and Naomi Punk, on Friday, Jan. 18. 9 pm. $8. 21+.