NYC experimental trio Parlor Walls are really doing something different, and you can hear the evidence of that with their latest single “Bloodsport.” The trio consists of Alyse Lamb (vocals/guitar), Chris Mulligan (drums/keys) and Kate Mohanty (saxophone), and let me tell you, I have only had the most pleasant of run-ins with the sounds that Kate spends her time composing. In the trio’s own words, their songs “navigate through tense, distorted worlds with a driven voice, inflected with colorful brass howls and deep washes of color. We like to call it trash jazz or dissonant no-wave.” Dissonant no-wave indeed, but of the most enjoyable sort. “Bloodsport” is part of a new EP entitled Cut which will be released November 13. Pretty solid.
Heavily delayed and otherwise affected guitar strumming begins the track with a motion that’s somehow both swaying and static. A driving drum beat enters at the same time as a delicious key pad, and the playful vocal line matches a rich saxophone riff that darts up and down scales and arpeggios. Guitar, keys, and saxophone relentlessly plug away at many-faceted but not-obnoxiously-polyrhythmic melodic lines, walking a weird line between post-rock and avant-garde and something else entirely. There’s a really delightfully strange sense in which it’s difficult to discern analog sounds from digital sounds nearing the end of this one, and that’s always something that captivates me. It definitely feels like a short number, but I have no doubt that it’ll fit into the rest of the EP just like a jigsaw puzzle piece. You know, an atonal and well-arranged jigsaw puzzle piece. Just like that.