Aussies, Austinites, and enough funk bass lines to light up Studio 54 in its prime, Parcels brought peak positivity to the Mohawk last Monday night. Daft Punk-produced and brimming with youthful exuberance, Parcels is riding a wave of musical momentum on their first American tour. The Aussie male quintet’s sound emanates from a melodic core sample of Beegees and KC and the Sunshine Band with the effervescence of contemporary synthpop and nu disco. A cappella harmonies, great hair and a synthesized audio elixir guaranteed to make audiences dance – Parcels brought the goods from down under.
Getting the ball rolling with the slow-build of “Comedown”, Parcels introduced themselves to the crowd, and then promptly launched into the Chic-esque hit “Lightenup”. Patrick Hetherington and Jules Crommelin sat front and center onstage, orchestrating boyish smiles and head nods while crooning with soulful dexterity. “Gamesofluck” dropped suave synths over a disco-laden sea of funk with catchy vocals that accentuated the groove masterpiece.
A mid-set a cappella rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” unveiled the remarkable singing talents of the entire quintet before getting back to the dance electronica at hand. “Tieduprightnow” brought chucking guitars and jazz flutes into a tropical nirvana that had the audience twisting like Uma in Pulp Fiction, while “Everyroad” took its time to build through spoken word and rising harmonies for an orgasmic pinnacle of the Italo-disco variety.
Even during some of the more introspective tracks, the Mohawk audience was vibing along, giving the band spontaneous applause and involuntary hand claps. The sheepish grins of the quintet and genuine surprise on hearing roars of approval, exposed a group that had yet to be calloused over with expectation or road weariness. Ending the night with their discovery song “Overnight” along with “Iknowhowifeel” and “Withorwithout” left a ravenous audience standing around for more music, long after the band had left the stage.
Photo credit: Antoine Henaul