- Lonely Parade
- No Shade
- Release year:
- Sleepwalk Tapes
Balancing between the complex and the accessible, Lonely Parade’s sophomore album is the sound of a band that is mature beyond their years. No Shade is immensely self-assured and is a mark of achievement that many artists struggle with and continuously strive towards, namely, finding their own unique voice. Like most bands in recent times, Lonely Parade borrows from various genres such as garage rock, jazz, and punk to shape their identity into something that is incredibly cohesive and very much their own. No hierarchy seems to exist between the trio of musicians. Guitar, bass, drums and vocals all share equal weight and weave into each other to make complex, layered, and impressive song structures. The best part? It comes off as incredibly effortless.
On the album’s first track, “Window,” the drums skitter and change shape with every breath and with such ease. The singing style hints at non-chalance and relaxedness, contrary to what is actually being said. You can almost see the soft rays of sunlight peering through a window into a quiet kitchen scene, but as suggested by a meandering and somewhat suspicious guitar line, something is bubbling just below the surface. The instruments jump right into distortion while the lyrics follow suit, turning more towards self-deprecation and suffocation. “Window” is the sound of disillusionment and the frustration that comes with simply wanting to feel something.
A stand-out track on the band’s sophomore album is the hazy and tender “Newfoundland.” The song sets itself up as a touching love song, and that it is, but not for any particular person. “Newfoundland,” as the title may have suggested, is a love affair and exchange with the province’s mysterious and engrossing landscapes. There is no ownership in this relationship, but instead is based on profound connection and mutual understanding. The land lives and goes on as if no one is there, while still acknowledging the girl’s presence, and vice versa. The lyrics paint Newfoundland with human qualities, serving the province’s majesty well and reminding us of Canada’s underappreciated and lesser known treasures.
The album is thematically consistent—despondency, loneliness, monotony, and the occasional break into awkward and insecure young love (“Girl”) with just the right amount of humour (“Duck Hunt”). These are all arguably common themes within post punk and art rock in recent years, but they are absolutely universal feelings, deserving of our attention, especially from young queer bands. Knowing full well that Lonely Parade is the best band to come out of Peterborough, a music scene largely dominated by straight men, is wildly comforting and a good omen for more young feminist bands looking to break into the rock music scene.
Lonely Parade is one of the most exciting bands to emerge from southern Ontario in recent memory, and No Shade is a testament to their strength and maturity as a band and as artists. Considering how stellar of a sophomore album it is, makes it all the more exciting to see what they’ll be coming out with next.