Parquet Courts ¦ Sympathy For Life

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Sympathy for Life
Sympathy for Life Parquet Courts.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 22, 2021
LabelRough Trade
Parquet Courts chronology
Wide Awake!
Sympathy for Life
Singles from Sympathy for Life
  1. „Plant Life„
    Released: June 29, 2021[1]
  2. „Walking at a Downtown Pace„
    Released: August 18, 2021[2]
  3. „Black Widow Spider„
    Released: September 24, 2021
  4. „Homo Sapien„
    Released: October 19, 2021

Sympathy for Life is the seventh studio album by the American rock band Parquet Courts. The album was released on October 22, 2021, on Rough Trade Records. Produced by Rodaidh McDonald and John Parish, the album was preceded by the singles, „Plant Life“, „Walking at a Downtown Pace“, „Black Widow Spider“ and „Homo Sapien“.

The vast majority of the album was written and recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, with the band working on long, improvised compositions before arranging them into songs influenced by clubbing and nightlife.


With the release of their sixth studio album, Wide Awake!, in May 2018, the band embarked on an extensive tour which lasted until November 2019. During this time, co-lead vocalists and guitarists Austin Brown and Andrew Savage became more interested in dance and techno music, becoming tired of the expectations of rock bands. Austin Brown noted: „I didn’t really feel like making another rock record. This whole scene of these massive indie rock festivals, seeing the way musicians are treated like faux celebrities, and the way minor indie musicians get worshiped in this unidirectional way — there’s the group on stage, everyone’s looking at them, and thinking they’re the most important people just because they happen to be the loudest. I got really into dance music and realized in those environments, the music is the thing that connects everybody.“[3]

Brown started attending nights out at the famed dance party venue The Loft in New York City, describing his experiences as „subversive, anti-establishment, progressive, and also the most enriching American psychedelic experience that has been created. This was something I really wanted to carry into the process of creating our new record.“[4] Savage’s own songwriting contributions were influenced by taking the drug acid while attending the gym: „It all started one day when I went to the gym on acid. I just felt like, ‚I’m a fucking machine here, I’m killing it‘. Something about the psychedelic experience gives you this mind over matter thing. I not only have my wonderful physique to be thankful for, but it also started this songwriting process for me. I guess it could be considered a performance-enhancing drug to some degree.“[4]


To record the album, the band recorded in the Catskill Mountains, in upstate New York, where they had previously worked on Sunbathing Animal (2014) and Human Performance (2016): „It’s an area of sacredness. A magic and fertile place with clean air, mountain water, and a lot of protected land.“[4] Working on long, improvised jams that could reach up to 40 minutes in length, the band recorded with several producers during the sessions, but ultimately chose only to include those they worked on with Rodaidh McDonald and John Parish.[3]

During the recording process, the band actively sought to evolve their sound, with co-lead vocalist and guitarist Austin Brown noting: „Being a band for so long, there’s lots of bands that can write a Parquet Courts song, and I’ve heard some that were not written by us. That stresses to me how important it is to evolve and move past what might be popularly considered a Parquet Courts sound.“[3] The band was influenced by the Primal Scream album, Screamadelica (1991), which fused indie rock with house music,[3] and wanted to recreate the feeling of clubbing culture and nightlife in the studio: „We very much wanted to make a record that embodied a live music experience but more like at a club or party level with DJs, not necessarily a live band. As a live band, we wanted to capture DJ music.“[5] Co-lead vocalist and guitarist Andrew Savage, in particular, was inspired by the bands, Can, Canned Heat and This Heat.[3]

Producer Rodaidh McDonald would record the entirety of the band’s long jam sessions, which he would then hone into shorter songs. Andrew Savage recalled, „Roddy’s definitely down to burn the midnight oil. I’d go take a nap, and a few hours later I’d come back, and the same song would still be being laboured over. There was an intensity there - that kind of fourth wind you can only get out of extreme energy loss.“[4] Despite traditionally playing guitar and keyboards in the band, Austin Brown would often operate a 16-channel dub station instead during the jam sessions, rotating and implementing different effects throughout. Band member Andrew Savage would describe Brown as „the control master of the jam“.[4] Regarding working with John Parish on two of the album’s tracks, Savage noted: „The reason I wanted to work with him was because he has this remarkable talent of sending a mic directly into a tape machine with no interference of components and making it sound amazing.[3]

Recording of the album had wrapped by March 2020, with the exception of „Marathon of Anger“, which was influenced by the Black Lives Matter protests of June 2020 and written and recorded during the events.[3]


With the release of the album delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the unexpected extra time allowed Andrew Savage to focus on aspects of the release that he otherwise wouldn’t have: „You know, one of the saving graces of the whole [pandemic] was this record because, truth be told, I’ve worked on it every day since in some form or another. The album art, I had a ton more time to work on that, and it’s the best I’ve done. And we had time to mix it, we had time to work on these 11 different music videos and these 11 different events to promote the record. I’ve been doing merch and tour posters, this, that, and the other. So I really used this project to focus my attention on something. I’ve always got something to do, but this was a really good way to distract from the hellscape that was 2020.“[3]


Sympathy for Life works in garage rock „designed for the dance-floor“, as well as dance-punk and synth-rock sounds.[6][7][8] However, among the dance-inspired songs, the quartet’s „expected [and] nervy“ post-punk sound also appears.[8][9]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The Line of Best Fit6/10[8]
Loud and Quiet6/10[16]

Sympathy for Life received critical acclaim from music critics. On Metacritic, it holds a score of 79 out of 100, indicating „generally favorable reviews“, based on 15 reviews.[11]

Track listing

All music is composed by Parquet Courts.

1.„Walking at a Downtown Pace“4:46
2.„Black Widow Spider“2:50
3.„Marathon of Anger“4:35
4.„Just Shadows“3:56
5.„Plant Life“5:50
7.„Homo Sapien“2:55
8.„Sympathy for Life“2:50
9.„Zoom Out“3:02
Total length:45:05
Japanese edition (bonus track)[18]
12.„Watching Strangers Smiles“ 


Chart performance for Sympathy for Life
Chart (2021)Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[19]26
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[20]49
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[21]118
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[22]94
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[23]96
Scottish Albums (OCC)[24]14
UK Albums (OCC)[25]42
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[26]4


  1. ^ Gallagher, Alex (June 29, 2021). „Parquet Courts tease new album, release physical-only single ‚Plant Life‘ . NME. Archived from the original on August 27, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  2. ^ Hogan, Marc (August 20, 2021). „Walking at a Downtown Pace“ by Parquet Courts Review“. Pitchfork. Conde Nast. Archived from the original on August 26, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Blistein, Jon (October 15, 2021). „Acid-Assisted Weightlifting and Dance Floor Radicalism: Parquet Courts‘ Utopian New Groove“. Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e Balmont, James (October 19, 2021). „Alive & Kicking: Parquet Courts“. DIY. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  5. ^ Reilly, Andy (October 7, 2021). „Interview: Parquet Courts – Sympathy for Life“. Snack. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Rhys Buchanan (October 19, 2021). „Parquet Courts: ‚Sympathy For Life‘ review: Brooklyn indie-punks at their adventurous best“. NME. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Matt Mitchell (October 20, 2021). „Parquet Courts: ‚Sympathy for Life‘ Album Review“. Paste. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Caleb Campbell (October 21, 2021). „Parquet Courts - Sympathy for Life“. The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  9. ^ Shawn Donohue (October 19, 2021). „Parquet Courts Get Cozy With The Dance Floor On ‚Sympathy For Life‘ (ALBUM REVIEW)“. Glide Magazine. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  10. ^ „Sympathy for Life by Parquet Courts reviews“. AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  11. ^ a b „Sympathy for Life by Parquet Courts Reviews and Tracks“. Metacritic. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  12. ^ Fred Thomas. „Sympathy for Life - Parquet Courts - Songs, Reviews, Credits“. AllMusic. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  13. ^ Louis Griffin. „Parquet Courts - Sympathy for Life“. DIY. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  14. ^ Chris Taylor (October 20, 2021). „Parquet Courts – Sympathy For Life“. Dork. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  15. ^ Daniel Sylvester (October 19, 2021). „Parquet Courts Lose Themselves to Dance on ‚Sympathy for Life‘ . Exclaim!. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  16. ^ Zara Hedderman (October 18, 2021). „Parquet Courts - Sympathy for Life - Album Review“. Loud and Quiet. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  17. ^ Marty Sartini Garner (October 24, 2021). „Parquet Courts: Sympathy for Life Album Review“. Pitchfork. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  18. ^ „BEATINK.COM Sympathy for Life“. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  19. ^ „ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart“. Australian Recording Industry Association. November 1, 2021. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  20. ^ „ – Parquet Courts – Sympathy for Life“ (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  21. ^ „ – Parquet Courts – Sympathy for Life“ (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  22. ^ „ – Parquet Courts – Sympathy for Life“ (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  23. ^ „ – Parquet Courts – Sympathy for Life“ (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  24. ^ „Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100“. Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  25. ^ „Official Albums Chart Top 100“. Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  26. ^ „Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50“. Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 29, 2021.


Veröffentlichungen von Parquet Courts die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Sympathy For Life

Parquet Courts auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Parquet Courts

Adam Savage, Austin Brown, Sean Yeaton, Max Savage (2016)
Allgemeine Informationen
HerkunftNew York, Vereinigte Staaten
Genre(s)Indie-Rock, Post-Punk, Garage Rock, Art-Punk, Lo-Fi, Noise-Rock
Aktuelle Besetzung
Andrew Savage
Austin Brown
Sean Yeaton
Max Savage

Parquet Courts ist eine US-amerikanische Rockband, die 2010 im New Yorker Stadtteil Brooklyn gegründet wurde. Die Band bezeichnet ihre Musik als „Americana Punk“.[1]


Parquet Courts 2015 in North Adams

Parquet Courts formierte sich 2010 in New York, obwohl die Mitglieder Andrew und Max Savage aus Denton, Texas, Austin Brown aus Beaumont, Texas und Sean Yeaton aus Boston stammen.[2] Andrew Savage spielte zuvor in den Indie-Bands Teenage Cool Kids und Fergus & Geronimo. Parquet Courts veröffentlichten 2011 ihr Debütalbum American Specialties exklusiv auf Kompaktkassette, ein Jahr später folgte eine Langspielplatte. Der Nachfolger Light Up Gold (2012) erschien über das Indie-Label Dull Tools und wurde zu einem Kritikererfolg.[3] Mit dem dritten Album Sunbathing Animal konnte sich die Band 2014 erstmals auch in den Albencharts platzieren.[4] Fünf Monate später folgte bereits das nächste Album Content Nausea, welches jedoch unter dem Alias Parkay Quarts veröffentlicht wurde, da es größtenteils von Andrew Savage und Brown eingespielt wurde und die übrigen Mitglieder Yeaton und Max Savage aus privaten Gründen verhindert waren.[5] Für das 2016 erschienene Album Human Performance erhielt Parquet Courts eine Grammy-Nominierung in der Kategorie Best Recording Package. 2017 arbeiteten sie mit dem italienischen Komponisten Daniele Luppi für das Album Milano zusammen. Im Mai 2018 erschien ihr sechstes Studioalbum Wide Awake!, das von Danger Mouse produziert wurde.[6]



JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[7]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
2011American Specialties
Nur auf Kompaktkassette; Limitiert auf 100 Exemplare
2012Light Up Gold
Erstveröffentlichung: 18. August 2012
2014Sunbathing AnimalUK55
(1 Wo.)UK
(2 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 3. Juni 2014
2014Content Nausea
Erstveröffentlichung: 28. November 2014
Als Parkay Quarts veröffentlicht
2016Human PerformanceUK50
(1 Wo.)UK
(1 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 8. April 2016
2018Wide Awake!CH64
(1 Wo.)CH
(1 Wo.)UK
(1 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 18. Mai 2018
2021Sympathy for LifeDE96
(1 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 22. Oktober 2021

Extended Plays

  • 2013: Tally All the Things That You Broke (als Parkay Quarts)
  • 2015: Monastic Living


  • 2015: Live at Third Man Records


  • 2013: Borrowed Time
  • 2014: Sunbathing Animal
  • 2014: Black and White
  • 2014: Bodies Made Of
  • 2016: Dust
  • 2016: Outside
  • 2016: Berlin Got Blurry
  • 2017: Captive of the Sun
  • 2017: Soul and Cigarette
  • 2017: Talisa
  • 2017: Mount Napoleon
  • 2018: Almost Had to Start a Fight / In and Out of Patience
  • 2018: Wide Awake
  • 2018: Mardi Gras Beads / Seems Kind of Silly
  • 2018: Total Football / Goofy vs. Pluto
  • 2018: Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World


  • 2017: Milano (mit Daniele Luppi)



  1. Parquet Courts bei
  2. Parquet Courts auf (abgerufen am 24. April 2018)
  3. Metascore: Light Up Gold auf (abgerufen am 24. April 2018)
  4. Parquet Courts Chartplatzierungen auf (abgerufen am 24. April 2018)
  5. Parkay Quarts – ‘Content Nausea‘ auf (abgerufen am 6. März 2019)
  6. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake! Rough Trade Records, abgerufen am 2. Juli 2018.
  7. Chartquellen: DE CH UK US


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