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What I Learned at Bandcamp: The Parlour Suite

Album artwork by Ryan Harris

Minneapolis-based, surf-pop band The Parlour Suite formed three years ago, when Inga and Joel Roberts (husband and wife) began writing music together. In December 2011, they played a show with a band that had a drummer named Joshua Perez. The three connected right away and joined forces to complete The Parlour Suite.

On April 14, the band released Everyone’s Looking, a seven-track album that I find quite pleasant. It just seems right for listening to when the sun is shining and the weather in Phoenix has reached triple digits. It’s happy and bubbly and makes me want to drive a couple hours to California and lie on the beach.

The full album can be streamed on The Parlour Suite’s website or purchased on iTunes. The band also has older music available on Bandcamp.

We talked to Inga about touring, inspiration and the band’s plan for the future, read what she has to say, below…

How long have you been making music?
All three of us have been involved in music since we were young. Every spare minute of our lives revolves around music.

Joel and Joshua are constantly on their computers, even in the car, writing backing tracks and recording new music. Our first show, on the West Coast leg of our tour, was in Seattle. From the time we left Minneapolis and pulled into Seattle, Joel had the headphones on creating a new electronic intro for the song “We Got To Get Away“… it was so fun to use it right away! It added a fresh change on a song that we have played hundreds of times!

There is hardly a minute in which one of us is not working on some form of music… but we did take a break in San Diego to see “21 Jump Street.” That was a hilarious late-night break!

What inspires your music?
Travel, beaches, surf music, Dirty Dancing, Twin Peaks, classic girl groups.

Who/what are your influences?
Our writing for The Parlour Suite tends to revolve around classic surf tones and 60’s girl groups. Dick Dale, Link Wray, Bo Diddley, and Ronnie Spector, have had a huge impact on the tonality of our band.

Most of the stories woven throughout the album are influenced from our time on the road or going out, the sense of adventure, getting away and discovering new cities.

A year ago, we had just played our last show of tour at L.A.’s Silverlake Lounge. It was 95 degrees in Los Angeles, and when we returned to Minneapolis, the snow in my front yard was above my head. It was such a drastic scenery change. I started writing the song “Grass.” It took me back to how it was in the summer, sunbathing on a blanket with no cares and our time on the boardwalk on Venice Beach…. jumping onto Joel’s skateboard and feeling the sun on my face.

How did you come up with your name?
Joel lived in Australia for a few years. When I met him, he was in Minneapolis renewing his travel visa. When he returned to Perth, he lived in a neighborhood that had traditional “massage parlours”… and it was his cheeky way of referencing the beach town he lived in. We kind of laughed about the idea of the name, but it stuck!

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
We just recorded a new single at Lost Ark Studio, in San Diego, with former iTunes engineer Mike Butler. The studio experience was amazing. Right on the beach in La Jolla. The single will be releasing this summer.

We are still touring with our album Everyone’s Looking and will be hitting up the East Coast in June. The dates can be found on our website.

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