New Sounds: Parlour Bells provide synth-pop refuge in ‘Sanctuary Cities’


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.

Everyone knows not to shit where you shop. And you certainly don’t elect a president off the shelf of your local mall. Boston’s Parlour Bells convey that and more through “Sanctuary Cities”, the latest cut off new album Waylaid in the Melée, which gets the record release party treatment this Saturday (November 18) at The Lizard Lounge in Cambridge.

Like previous single “Red, White and Bruised”, “Sanctuary Cities” finds the reborn Parlour Bells taking aim at the ridiculousness emanating from our nation’s capital.

“Among the litany of more meaningful criticisms I have of Trump is his incredibly bad taste,” frontman Goddamn Glenn tells Vanyaland. “All I needed to know about him was that he at one time peddled low-rent steaks from the same shopping mall/hovel you visit solely to play with the drones and sit in their massage chairs. Sharper goddamn Image. Think about that. Meat from the same place you get an abacus or white noise machine? After he won — and man was that a long night — I kept saying it over and over: You don’t buy your steaks from Sharper Image and you don’t pick your presidents from 5th Avenue. Lyrically speaking, there’s a lot more in the song to unpack from there.”

Goddamn Glenn says the song plays with our New England roots, but musically pulls in a global range of styles and sounds.

“Coming from the Boston area, where we are a true sanctuary, I felt personally invaded by his red-hat MAGA machine and blitzkrieg of executive orders that verified suspicions I held about him (among which included the collusion whispers that are clearly obvious to us now),” he adds. “So I took this one-part Russian ballet hook, added a little Justin Timberlake pop love, a pinch of OMD, and a generous dose of hooker urine, and the song reset the course for how the rest of Waylaid in the Melée would unfold. This is the track that should come to mind when you look at the album cover. 666 5th Avenue. A steely veneer and the entrance to hell.”

Joining the Bells in going underground this weekend at the Lizard are Gene Dante and the Future Starlets and Set Fire, a new-ish project from Jess Collins, Jim Healey and Rob Davol. Find sanctuary below.

PARLOUR BELLS + SET FIRE + GENE DANTE AND THE FUTURE STARLETS :: Saturday, November 18 at The Lizard Lounge, 1667 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, MA :: 8:30 p.m., 21-plus, $10 :: Advance tickets :: Facebook event page