Parquet Courts – “Watching Strangers Smile”: DJ Pick of the Week

Parquet Courts Album Artwork

“Watching Strangers Smile” by Parquet Courts is Stephanie’s DJ Pick of the Week! Parquet Courts is a New York-based rock group formed through the friendship between Andrew Savage and Austin Brown. The two met while attending the University of North Texas, finding common ground through a record-sharing club. With the addition of bandmates Sean Yeaton and Max Savage, the group has released six studio albums and numerous singles. While the band released some of these singles to promote their studio albums, “Watching Strangers Smile” is a standalone piece. Parquet Courts’ style resides somewhere between the genres of rock, punk, and funk.

At first, “Watching Strangers Smile” sounds like an upbeat rock/funk fusion tune. The rhythm guitar and drums keep a consistent groove throughout the song. The bass lays down a funky riff that becomes more prominent in the chorus and instrumental sections. In addition to playing bright harmonies, the keyboard synthesizer carries the melody in the absence of the vocals. However, Andrew Savage’s vocals become noticeably gritty as the song progresses, while the lyrical content itself is consistently dark. Once the vocal element of “Watching Strangers Smile” is brought into full consideration, the band’s inspiration from punk becomes clearer.

Parquet Courts wrote “Watching Strangers Smile” for the album Sympathy for Life, but left it unfinished until its single release. The band debuted the song on the Ellen Show through a live performance. While Parquet Courts has yet to announce any new music since then, the band will be on tour this spring. Tickets for the tour, which includes a performance right here in Nashville, are available to purchase here. Otherwise, be sure to keep up with Parquet Courts through their website. Also, be sure to check out the live debut of “Watching Strangers Smile” as recorded below:

Tune into 100.1 FM or to hear “Watching Strangers Smile” by Parquet Courts as Stephanie’s DJ Pick of the Week. Be sure to let us know your thoughts! Tweet at us with #L100DJPick and share your take on the track.