PARQUET COURTS bassist Sean Yeaton sounds surprisingly chipper for a man who's doing laundry. He explains the therapeutic qualities of washing clothes in a laundromat, and also mentions that it's a rare sunny day in his Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Most important, though, is the fact that Parquet Courts are gearing up to release their third full-length, Sunbathing Animal, in June. The album is very much the byproduct of a big 2013, which saw a reissue of their excellent Light Up Gold LP catch fire, and almost nonstop touring. "We spent a lot of time on the road—in hotels, vans, basements," Yeaton says. "This album speaks to this idea of captivity and anxiety and frustration."
He assures me that the band—which also includes drummer Max Savage and guitarists/vocalists Andrew Savage and Austin Brown—are even-keeled dudes who actually enjoy their time touring and recording. "It can be a Herculean task for a band to spend all their time together," Yeaton says. "We're a band that benefits from the fact that we all get along."
But there is something a little more tense and jittery about Sunbathing Animal, especially on "Black and White" and the ripping title track; it's no surprise that most of the songs were written on the road. "She's Rolling" allows space for Savage and Brown's guitars (and their mouthfuls of lyrics, for that matter) to mingle and meddle with each other. And while the band took their time recording it over the course of three sessions, they tried not to overthink it (Yeaton says that song in particular morphed over time, but that the trick was staying true to the original vision).
Yeaton is genuinely excited about the new record, and he should be. Sunbathing Animal is both familiar and fresh, and will reward listeners with each listen. If there's any pressure to follow up Light Up Gold, Yeaton's sure not showing it. "It makes me feel warm and fuzzy," he explains, adding, "Maybe I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. Maybe I'll have a face tattoo next time you see me."