Posted Aug 19th, 2011 (10:54 am) by Ross Condit

“The Goldenhand” from Parlour Suite is terrific pop; “Worth Your Weight In Gold" is terrific blues. So what the hell is this band? Well, the obvious answer is a terrific blues-pop band, with other influences tossed in -- the mariachi trumpet on “Gold” for example . The Parlour Suite’s new EP Welcome To The Garden Party is five songs, all good and all a bit different.

The quick and dirty on the EP? On “Goldenhand” Inga Roberts takes her turn as a love song-belting chanteuse. She has a gorgeous voice, pure pop goodness. The vibe of the song is somewhat Vampire Weekend or Cuckoo Chaos with drum machines (and maybe the drum machines could go). It's Roberts' turn again on “Up from the Underground” but this time she has more of a '30s/'40s, Leftover Cuties sound. Her voice is perfect for this type of music, by the way. Joel Roberts (sorry dudes, Inga has his last name for a reason) has a great modern bluesman’s voice (think Ned Wyndham from Scoundrels or a less whiskey/cigarette infused Jameson Burt) that really shines on “Welcome to Your Garden Party” and the final track on the EP “Worth Your Weight In Gold”. The final track, a cover of oft-covered “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” is the oddball . It’s a turn at typical '60s girl group death-rock sound that’s making a comeback, tinged with Ennio Morricone spaghetti western vibes.

The Parlour Suite is Minneapolis, MN (this writer's hometown) husband-wife team of Inga and Joel Roberts. This two-piece combines analog organs, grinding guitars, keys, drum tracks, and solid bass lines. The loving duo is currently in the studio recording their debut full-length album, tentatively due for release in January or February of 2012.

This is an outstanding EP! For anyone who has renovated their home, you might have described a well-built house as "having good bones.” This disc has great bones, too – all the elements of a tremendous up-and-coming, super-talented band are here. There are lots of angles to this album, and multiple layers to hold your interest. There’s a certain charm in seeing a husband/wife duo work well as a musical act (Over the Rhine is another that comes to mind). Honestly, Welcome To The Garden Party is one of the best, most interest albums of 2011, in my book.

Check out the links to their web presence to the right, and go to The Parlour Suite’s bandcamp and buy the album for $5 to support the band!

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