Parlour Bells unveil a dirge to broken America in ‘Red, White and Bruised’: New Sounds



Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.

When is the proper time to have a conversation? When is the right time to be confronted?


Late last week we received a new single from Boston noir-pop project Parlour Bells, the latest offering from their ongoing Pledge campaign. Goddamn Glenn and his crew of musical mercenaries are gearing up for next month’s release of new album Waylaid in the Melée, and have now unveiled “Red, White and Bruised”, a devilish song Glenn describes as “a dirge to a broken America.”

Of course, when we woke up yesterday morning, we were greeted by the mass shooting tragedy in Las Vegas. As we pulled ourselves ever-so-slightly together by mid-afternoon, still coming to terms with what happened at that country music festival, we were smacked with the news of Tom Petty’s declining health. The day ended for most with the announcement that Petty had died.

If there was ever a broken America, we’re living in it.


Of course, Parlour Bells didn’t write “Red, White and Bruised” with these things in mind — the track was mostly inspired by the fallout from the 2016 election and ever-present conspiracy theories — but the accidental alignment of sentiment and tragedy speaks greatly to the minefield we’re all living in. On the new single, the alarms of that minefield ring out at the very start, inspired by Hans Zimmer’s work on Dunkirk and Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. Hell, there’s even a voiceover of Winston Churchill’s “We shall fight on the beaches” speech, and it all gives way to a dark, introspective warning of the times, musically feeling a bit like a drinking a swirling Iron Maiden/DavidBowie cocktail high in the balcony of a Muse show. Parlour Bells’ usual pop romanticism has given way to a more apocalyptic musical vision, and the synths and sirens all make for a stirringly paranoid rallying cry. Be sure to stick around for guitarist Rob Sistare’s menacingly gnarly solo at the end.

“Red, White and Bruised” recorded at Q Division, mixed and engineered by Matt Tahaney, and mastered by Mike Quinn. The single’s artwork is taken from the entryway to Jared Kushner’s debt-strapped property on 666 5th Avenue in New York City. Because the scary shit you would have had to make up a decade ago resides comfortably in our current reality.

Waylaid in the Melée, meanwhile, is out November 18, with a release party that night at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge with Set Fire and Gene Dante and The Future Starlets.