Ken Leighton 5 p.m., Jan. 18
Maren Parusel Walks a Tightrope - Chad Deal, April 15, 2012
San Diego via Tübingen, Germany pop songwriter Maren Parusel layers reverb-drenched guitar hooks with an assortment of vintage synths on her sophomore album, Tightrope Walker, which is set to be released June 19 on Requiemme Records/BMG Chrysalis.
Parusel’s revamped synth-driven sound comes after her gear was stolen on tour in New York City last year, though Parusel says “I was already beginning to change the way I made music.”
The themes presented on the LP were inspired by Nietzsche’s landmark book Thus Spoke Zarathustra and the documentary Man on Wire about a French high-rope walker who traversed a line between the World Trade Centers (not far from where Parusel's gear was stolen) in 1974.
“Metaphorically, life is you walking on a tightrope,” says Parusel, whose debut Artificial Gardens (produced by Black Heart Procession’s Pall Jenkins) won Best Pop Album at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards. “You’re balanced on your own rope. You can slip and fall. This album is about believing in yourself rather than looking up to figures. It’s about living your own dream.”
On Tightrope Walker, Parusel teamed up with Christopher Hoffee at Chaos Recorders in Escondido, whose array of analog synthesizers and vintage plug-ins lend dreamy, dance-friendly textures to Parusel’s falsetto vocals.
Backed by a live band of Eric Brozgold (drums), Josh Cass (guitarist from Get Back Loretta), and Kory Mcafee (bass), Parusel and company recently garnered attention from R.E.M.’s Mike Mills (“I loved her set”) and renowned photographer BP Fallon at South by Southwest, where she played several sets including Alejandro Escovedo’s (brother of Requiemme manager Mario Escovedo) day party at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas.