Parlour Bells
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Parlour Bells

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

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Fronted by Glenn di Benedetto, Parlour Bells has grown in the past year to become one of Boston’s best rock bands. Di Benedetto has a great David Bowie-meets-Iggy Pop stage presence. Lead guitarist Nate Leavitt is astoundingly good and bassist Brendan Boogie is rock solid. Some of its most memorable live moments are when keyboardist Magen Tracy and di Benedetto play off each other on songs like “O Holiday.” “Airwaves” is sure to bring a tear to the eye. The band is often active in the community and was quick to contribute “Airwaves” to “Allston Pudding Presents: Boston Marathon Relief Mix Tape” to raise funds for the One Fund Boston. - CBS Boston


I might not have a 740AM tattoo, but I l do love lounge music. In fact, it's one of those things like being a Yankees fan or a vegetarian that I imagine would be sometimes hard to explain. Things that I like about being a fan of lounge music though are easy to list. For one, I have my pick of the litter at the Goodwill. Also, at record fairs, I can make a b-line for the Bacharach, Chris Montez, Doris Day and Anita Kerr records without having to bump elbows with other grubby collectors. The fact is, nobody wants this stuff. Lounge music is the punchline of every musical joke, the easiest genre to parody, even perhaps when you think about, the last line of parodying that anyone can cross. After all, what lends itself to that dreaded apparition of a 'medley' better than a baby grand and a shimmery dress?

Lounge is easy to bully because it's just like that geeky guy with the glasses at the piano-- clear, nuanced, vulnerable, fun, sexy...well, all these things. But, it's also one of the all-time great musical genres for lovers of pure music.

Tonight, Rock 'n' Roll Rumble maven and WZLX DJ Anngelle Wood will be fulfilling a long-held dream by launching Lounge Act, a series of lounge inspired music from local Boston bands, at Somerville's Radio. Tonight's show will feature Ruby Rose Fox, SPF 5000 and Goddamn Glenn and the Parlour Bells Players. I asked each of these parties what THEY think of when they think of lounge music. Here is what they had to say.

Reflecting on this inspiring Shelley Burch performance of "Bill" from Showboat, Ruby Rose Fox explains that for her, lounge music is less about an actual sound and more about environment. "The 'lounge' environment lends itself to a certain exoticism, a demand for an intimate and laser focus on the performer, and an element of artifice exaggerated just enough to see through it. For me, "lounge" is not about what it actually was--it's about what I imagine it to be"

Parlour Bells' Glenn Di Benedetto tunes in more to the singer's experience. "Stylistically, I think the lounge elements that some listeners detect in Parlour Bells might be the moody keys, the crooning, some subtle theatrics and overall atmospherics. The clip of this [Dean Stockwell] singing Orbison's "In Dreams" from Blue Velvet sums up nicely the haunted, campy noir that I appreciate in the lounge style."

For Amy Douglas and SPF 5000 (all who have jazz backgrounds), it's all about the music, and the ability for the swinging canon to unite musicians in the purest way possible. "In order to be a truly great and well rounded musician, jazz and lounge music has to be part of your lexicon so that you possess the most fundamental parts of playing music--that being an ability to get a group feel instantly and intuitively, harmonic exploration, and improvisation. This video of Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane performing the Billy Strayhorn classic "Lush Life" is one of the most perfect blendings of vocal and instrumental jazz ever recorded, and it remains for me, one of the most important moments on record in general."

Your host Anngelle Wood closes out this post with this clip of the Honey Drippers (feat. Robert Plant) doing "Rockin At Midnight." One of the main things she loves about the lounge genre itself is how open it is to interpretation. "It encompasses swing, big band, crooners, down-tempo, jazz, soul, R&B, and even some electro," says Wood. "While the idea of performing in a lounge style isn't for everyone, it is my hope that as the series progresses others will be encouraged to step out and try something new, with their own music or otherwise. The door is always open for singers to come and do some classics, standards, jazz, soul, and so on!" - Boston Globe


I might not have a 740AM tattoo, but I l do love lounge music. In fact, it's one of those things like being a Yankees fan or a vegetarian that I imagine would be sometimes hard to explain. Things that I like about being a fan of lounge music though are easy to list. For one, I have my pick of the litter at the Goodwill. Also, at record fairs, I can make a b-line for the Bacharach, Chris Montez, Doris Day and Anita Kerr records without having to bump elbows with other grubby collectors. The fact is, nobody wants this stuff. Lounge music is the punchline of every musical joke, the easiest genre to parody, even perhaps when you think about, the last line of parodying that anyone can cross. After all, what lends itself to that dreaded apparition of a 'medley' better than a baby grand and a shimmery dress?

Lounge is easy to bully because it's just like that geeky guy with the glasses at the piano-- clear, nuanced, vulnerable, fun, sexy...well, all these things. But, it's also one of the all-time great musical genres for lovers of pure music.

Tonight, Rock 'n' Roll Rumble maven and WZLX DJ Anngelle Wood will be fulfilling a long-held dream by launching Lounge Act, a series of lounge inspired music from local Boston bands, at Somerville's Radio. Tonight's show will feature Ruby Rose Fox, SPF 5000 and Goddamn Glenn and the Parlour Bells Players. I asked each of these parties what THEY think of when they think of lounge music. Here is what they had to say.

Reflecting on this inspiring Shelley Burch performance of "Bill" from Showboat, Ruby Rose Fox explains that for her, lounge music is less about an actual sound and more about environment. "The 'lounge' environment lends itself to a certain exoticism, a demand for an intimate and laser focus on the performer, and an element of artifice exaggerated just enough to see through it. For me, "lounge" is not about what it actually was--it's about what I imagine it to be"

Parlour Bells' Glenn Di Benedetto tunes in more to the singer's experience. "Stylistically, I think the lounge elements that some listeners detect in Parlour Bells might be the moody keys, the crooning, some subtle theatrics and overall atmospherics. The clip of this [Dean Stockwell] singing Orbison's "In Dreams" from Blue Velvet sums up nicely the haunted, campy noir that I appreciate in the lounge style."

For Amy Douglas and SPF 5000 (all who have jazz backgrounds), it's all about the music, and the ability for the swinging canon to unite musicians in the purest way possible. "In order to be a truly great and well rounded musician, jazz and lounge music has to be part of your lexicon so that you possess the most fundamental parts of playing music--that being an ability to get a group feel instantly and intuitively, harmonic exploration, and improvisation. This video of Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane performing the Billy Strayhorn classic "Lush Life" is one of the most perfect blendings of vocal and instrumental jazz ever recorded, and it remains for me, one of the most important moments on record in general."

Your host Anngelle Wood closes out this post with this clip of the Honey Drippers (feat. Robert Plant) doing "Rockin At Midnight." One of the main things she loves about the lounge genre itself is how open it is to interpretation. "It encompasses swing, big band, crooners, down-tempo, jazz, soul, R&B, and even some electro," says Wood. "While the idea of performing in a lounge style isn't for everyone, it is my hope that as the series progresses others will be encouraged to step out and try something new, with their own music or otherwise. The door is always open for singers to come and do some classics, standards, jazz, soul, and so on!" - Boston Globe


For anyone unsure of the importance of WFNX in Boston’s local music scene, this video should clear things up. Parlour Bells, the local pop art rock group wrote “Airwaves” in part to pay tribute to the station and enlisted the help of area writers, DJs and performers to lend their voices to the emotional chorus toward the end of the track.

Bells’ lead singer, Glenn di Benedetto wrote the lyrics, reflecting on the current state of radio after being hit hard by the news of Clear Channel’s acquisition of FNX.

” I was blown away by how few options we had for alternative music,” he said.

It was the station’s willingness to break new bands, local or otherwise, that really separated FNX from the herd. Rather than sticking with the tried and true music they knew would be easily consumed, they offered something else.

“They’ve always been the progressive station, sort of willing to take risks,” said di Benedetto. “Before alternative was a genre, it really was just that — an alternative to what else was on the radio and they were doing that, in my opinion, before anyone else was.”

When alternative became the mainstream, he said he remembers hearing bands like Jane’s Addiction and Smashing Pumpkins there first.

“They would do the same thing for bands on a local level. They would showcase acts, put on shows and invite local artists to play.”

As well as taking risks on new acts, sandwiching local artists in regular rotation with bands known nationally provided huge exposure for not only local bands, but the vibrant music scene in Boston as a whole.

Now when you turn the dial to 101.7, you’ll be introduced to The Harbor.The station is sort of a historical catalog of the top 40, offering the biggest hits from any decade. Their motto: “We play anything!” Yippie.

The diversity in “playing anything” is admirable. Sort of. But what’s wrong with some personality? Just “anything” doesn’t alone make a good station.

“It’s got no personality, every station should have some sort of identity. If theyre classic rock, be classic rock. They should have some sort of brand identity,” added di Benedetto.

To find out whether “anything” also included local music or stuff we haven’t been beaten over the head with since the dawn of middle school talent show performances, we reached out to the Harbor and are awaiting a response.

None of this is to say the Harbor doesn’t deserve to exist. It does. It’s just sad that it comes at the expense of an institution like WFNX.

Though di Benedetto is confident that the future of radio, from the perspective of an alternative, local artist, is in good hands, if the same people who cared to put it on the FM dial show the same passion by integrating it online and through social media. WFNX will still stream online, and a similarly formatted station will stream on Boston.com, featuring some formerly prominent FNX DJs.

“They’ll find a way. The musicians definitely will be supportive of those efforts as well.” - Bostinno


For anyone unsure of the importance of WFNX in Boston’s local music scene, this video should clear things up. Parlour Bells, the local pop art rock group wrote “Airwaves” in part to pay tribute to the station and enlisted the help of area writers, DJs and performers to lend their voices to the emotional chorus toward the end of the track.

Bells’ lead singer, Glenn di Benedetto wrote the lyrics, reflecting on the current state of radio after being hit hard by the news of Clear Channel’s acquisition of FNX.

” I was blown away by how few options we had for alternative music,” he said.

It was the station’s willingness to break new bands, local or otherwise, that really separated FNX from the herd. Rather than sticking with the tried and true music they knew would be easily consumed, they offered something else.

“They’ve always been the progressive station, sort of willing to take risks,” said di Benedetto. “Before alternative was a genre, it really was just that — an alternative to what else was on the radio and they were doing that, in my opinion, before anyone else was.”

When alternative became the mainstream, he said he remembers hearing bands like Jane’s Addiction and Smashing Pumpkins there first.

“They would do the same thing for bands on a local level. They would showcase acts, put on shows and invite local artists to play.”

As well as taking risks on new acts, sandwiching local artists in regular rotation with bands known nationally provided huge exposure for not only local bands, but the vibrant music scene in Boston as a whole.

Now when you turn the dial to 101.7, you’ll be introduced to The Harbor.The station is sort of a historical catalog of the top 40, offering the biggest hits from any decade. Their motto: “We play anything!” Yippie.

The diversity in “playing anything” is admirable. Sort of. But what’s wrong with some personality? Just “anything” doesn’t alone make a good station.

“It’s got no personality, every station should have some sort of identity. If theyre classic rock, be classic rock. They should have some sort of brand identity,” added di Benedetto.

To find out whether “anything” also included local music or stuff we haven’t been beaten over the head with since the dawn of middle school talent show performances, we reached out to the Harbor and are awaiting a response.

None of this is to say the Harbor doesn’t deserve to exist. It does. It’s just sad that it comes at the expense of an institution like WFNX.

Though di Benedetto is confident that the future of radio, from the perspective of an alternative, local artist, is in good hands, if the same people who cared to put it on the FM dial show the same passion by integrating it online and through social media. WFNX will still stream online, and a similarly formatted station will stream on Boston.com, featuring some formerly prominent FNX DJs.

“They’ll find a way. The musicians definitely will be supportive of those efforts as well.” - Bostinno


(First, welcome to the new blog! This thing is a work in progress but will be tricked out with all your favorite contests, exclusive video and more in the New Year, but for now, let's just get to the list...)
The single is king.
There were only a dozen albums I dug from top to bottom this year. But hundreds of songs tickled my ears, blew my mind and shook my hips.
Skipping the tired Top Ten Albums of the Year feature, I hunted the 212 most interesting, influential and awesome songs of the year. Oh yeah, this list is Homeric and there's a playlist to go with it -- just click it: https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:user:jedgottlieb:playlist:7x8cbbk...

"Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye and Kimbra — Adele knocked the industry establishment for a loop in 2011 by outselling Katy Perry, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. This year an odd, inexplicable and wonderful duet from Down Under provided the No. 2 punch in the combo. Once again a no-name artist outsold the industry-approved (read: industry-created) cartoon pop stars. As long as underdogs come up with melodies this great, there's always a chance to KO the heavyweights.
"Thinkin Bout You,” Frank Ocean — Singers often hide their lack of talent in million-dollar production. Here the breakout r&b star of 2012 goes naked: minimalist beat, simple synth swells, wounded falsetto, honest heartbreak. The result is a brutal ballad without the expected syrupy stuff.
"Take A Walk,” Passion Pit — Second album “Gossamer” did more than just expand the ex-Boston band's sonic pallet. The disc wrapped nasty emotional wounds in clouds of bright pop. The epic example is opening track “Take a Walk.” The tune thumps with a club beat Lady Gaga would envy while telling a heartbreaking story of money and machismo ruining families.
"Hold On,” Alabama Shakes — Some argue a rock band fronted by a young, Southern black woman is a gimmick, but lead singer Brittany Howard doesn’t come off like a novelty here. There are no tricks to her band. No electronica influence, no hip-hop beats, no flashes of world music; the band is foundational rock: two guitars, bass and drums with groovy soul shouting on top.
"Young & Wild,” Mean Creek — Boston Music Award Album of the Year winners wrote an ace indie rock song. The lead single from “Youth Companion” is a sweet blend of everything kids raised on the Pixies, Pavement and Nirvana love: guitar feedback, tribal drums, hypnotic bass line and a brilliant hook belted out with adolescent fever.
“Swimming Pools (Drank),” Kendrick Lamar —The West Coast’s Rookie of the Year (and probable future MVP) delivers a true and terrifying treatise on alcoholism. Mixing languid and frenetic verses, the hip hop tune echos an epic boozing session. It’s a choice blend of deep introspection and tasty ear candy.
“Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen — Top 40 has become hyper-sexual (I'm looking at you Rihanna). Jepsen's gem is a throwback, a perfect little pop song without the whips and chains. The rare song moms, tweens and hipsters dig.
“Harder Before It Gets Easier,” David Wax Museum — Boston's (and the world's) favorite Americana/Mexicana pioneers added a little dark weirdness to their sound this year. But this BMA Song of the Year winner is a sunny sonic stroll through a Veracruz street market.
“Love Changes Everything,” Session Americana — The Cambridge institution’s cover of Amy Correia's "Love Changes Everything" picks up speed with every acoustic guitar strum, every new voice and harmony, chugging toward a brilliant climax. The ride is full of love and nostalgia, grit and power.
“Dirty Paws,” Of Monsters and Men — Iceland’s Of Monsters and Men nearly pulled off the ultimate coup: Winning the song of the summer with wild, blustery Norse campfire sing-along “Little Talks.” But it was “Dirty Paws” that showed their full potential with dual vocalists Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson shouting over the clatter of acoustic guitars, crashing cymbals and a wintery, epic piano line.
“Tomorrow Never Knows,” The Beatles — When “Mad Men’s” Don Draper slipped this Fab Four head trip on his hi-fi, he reminded the world the Beatles are still the best. A half century after it was released, the song is more revolutionary than 98 percent of new music.
“Ho Hey,” The Lumineers — The folk revival continued to build with big years for Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Avett Brothers. But nobody predicted a tiny, tender ballad from an unknown Denver trio would be resonate around the world. The best thing Bing ever turned up.
“She's the Woman,” Van Halen —Many of the tunes on the band’s first album with David Lee Roth since “1984” are based on outtakes and sketches from Van Halen’s Diamond Dave-fronted heyday – “She’s the Woman” dates back to a ’76 demo. Some say this is lazy; I say why write new stuff when the old stuff is the bomb?
“Duquesne Whistle,” Bob Dylan —The maestro has been swimming in proto-rock for a decade. But rarely have his romps been - Boston Herald


(First, welcome to the new blog! This thing is a work in progress but will be tricked out with all your favorite contests, exclusive video and more in the New Year, but for now, let's just get to the list...)
The single is king.
There were only a dozen albums I dug from top to bottom this year. But hundreds of songs tickled my ears, blew my mind and shook my hips.
Skipping the tired Top Ten Albums of the Year feature, I hunted the 212 most interesting, influential and awesome songs of the year. Oh yeah, this list is Homeric and there's a playlist to go with it -- just click it: https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:user:jedgottlieb:playlist:7x8cbbk...

"Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye and Kimbra — Adele knocked the industry establishment for a loop in 2011 by outselling Katy Perry, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. This year an odd, inexplicable and wonderful duet from Down Under provided the No. 2 punch in the combo. Once again a no-name artist outsold the industry-approved (read: industry-created) cartoon pop stars. As long as underdogs come up with melodies this great, there's always a chance to KO the heavyweights.
"Thinkin Bout You,” Frank Ocean — Singers often hide their lack of talent in million-dollar production. Here the breakout r&b star of 2012 goes naked: minimalist beat, simple synth swells, wounded falsetto, honest heartbreak. The result is a brutal ballad without the expected syrupy stuff.
"Take A Walk,” Passion Pit — Second album “Gossamer” did more than just expand the ex-Boston band's sonic pallet. The disc wrapped nasty emotional wounds in clouds of bright pop. The epic example is opening track “Take a Walk.” The tune thumps with a club beat Lady Gaga would envy while telling a heartbreaking story of money and machismo ruining families.
"Hold On,” Alabama Shakes — Some argue a rock band fronted by a young, Southern black woman is a gimmick, but lead singer Brittany Howard doesn’t come off like a novelty here. There are no tricks to her band. No electronica influence, no hip-hop beats, no flashes of world music; the band is foundational rock: two guitars, bass and drums with groovy soul shouting on top.
"Young & Wild,” Mean Creek — Boston Music Award Album of the Year winners wrote an ace indie rock song. The lead single from “Youth Companion” is a sweet blend of everything kids raised on the Pixies, Pavement and Nirvana love: guitar feedback, tribal drums, hypnotic bass line and a brilliant hook belted out with adolescent fever.
“Swimming Pools (Drank),” Kendrick Lamar —The West Coast’s Rookie of the Year (and probable future MVP) delivers a true and terrifying treatise on alcoholism. Mixing languid and frenetic verses, the hip hop tune echos an epic boozing session. It’s a choice blend of deep introspection and tasty ear candy.
“Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen — Top 40 has become hyper-sexual (I'm looking at you Rihanna). Jepsen's gem is a throwback, a perfect little pop song without the whips and chains. The rare song moms, tweens and hipsters dig.
“Harder Before It Gets Easier,” David Wax Museum — Boston's (and the world's) favorite Americana/Mexicana pioneers added a little dark weirdness to their sound this year. But this BMA Song of the Year winner is a sunny sonic stroll through a Veracruz street market.
“Love Changes Everything,” Session Americana — The Cambridge institution’s cover of Amy Correia's "Love Changes Everything" picks up speed with every acoustic guitar strum, every new voice and harmony, chugging toward a brilliant climax. The ride is full of love and nostalgia, grit and power.
“Dirty Paws,” Of Monsters and Men — Iceland’s Of Monsters and Men nearly pulled off the ultimate coup: Winning the song of the summer with wild, blustery Norse campfire sing-along “Little Talks.” But it was “Dirty Paws” that showed their full potential with dual vocalists Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson shouting over the clatter of acoustic guitars, crashing cymbals and a wintery, epic piano line.
“Tomorrow Never Knows,” The Beatles — When “Mad Men’s” Don Draper slipped this Fab Four head trip on his hi-fi, he reminded the world the Beatles are still the best. A half century after it was released, the song is more revolutionary than 98 percent of new music.
“Ho Hey,” The Lumineers — The folk revival continued to build with big years for Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Avett Brothers. But nobody predicted a tiny, tender ballad from an unknown Denver trio would be resonate around the world. The best thing Bing ever turned up.
“She's the Woman,” Van Halen —Many of the tunes on the band’s first album with David Lee Roth since “1984” are based on outtakes and sketches from Van Halen’s Diamond Dave-fronted heyday – “She’s the Woman” dates back to a ’76 demo. Some say this is lazy; I say why write new stuff when the old stuff is the bomb?
“Duquesne Whistle,” Bob Dylan —The maestro has been swimming in proto-rock for a decade. But rarely have his romps been - Boston Herald


Few things that happen so frequently are as revered as nightfall. While the majority of society embraces the fresh start afforded with the arrival of a peaceful morning, for some, dawn represents a closing chapter in a nightly episode that plays out like a vampiric Groundhog Day. Glenn di Benedetto, the flask-swigging crooner of dusky glam-rock troupe Parlour Bells, understands the concept of coming alive just as the sun fades. The Bells' new EP, Thank God for the Night, is less a love letter to nightlife and more a police blotter of the messy arc experienced with each foray towards midnight, from the ambition and intrigue you feel while getting your hair did, to the climax of passing out somewhere piss-drunk, alone or not-alone. It's a bedtime story for adults who never go to bed.

"The best things happen at night; all my ideas come to me at night, all my mistakes happen at night, and I feel like people look their best at night," di Benedetto explains, sipping a martini at Eastern Standard and dressed for this Monday meet-up like it was Saturday. "There are always two aspects: there's the preparation, the style, getting dressed up. And that's all to get fucked up and destroy what you've created. Isn't that what night's all about? You put on a suit, but you already know where it's going if all goes well — it's ending up on the floor."

In late 2010 Parlour Bells released Heart Beatings, a collection of songs written by di Benedetto and guitarist and longtime collaborator Nate Leavitt that reinforced the duo's glitzy, noir-pop sound. But it was also written entirely before the Bells would first perform live. All of the songs on Thank God for the Night — from the sinister, burglar chimes of "You Don't Wear That Dress, The Dress Wears You" to the synth-lounge yearning of "Bachelor Hours" — were fleshed out on stages across Boston before being crystallized in the studio.

The result is a more grandiose sound, which includes a guest sax appearance by Morphine's Dana Colley on "Dress," rounded out by a live band with bassist Brendan Boogie and keyboardist Magen Tracy. The record, while released digitally, also comes with a detailed storybook depicting the band becoming increasingly disheveled and rolling on crescent-moon-shaped pills. The visual fits the sound, a mix of Hunky Dory-era Bowie and the second half of Jane's Addiction's Ritual Do Lo Habitual (the band once earned the approval of Dave Navarro for their cover of Jane's' "Classic Girl"). There's a theatrical element to it all, but it's still appropriate for the lounge.

"As much as I'm into minimalist sounds, I grew up on '90s bombast," di Benedetto admits. "I'm intrigued by something that's a little ugly, as long as it's pushing the boundaries." - Boston Phoenix


Few things that happen so frequently are as revered as nightfall. While the majority of society embraces the fresh start afforded with the arrival of a peaceful morning, for some, dawn represents a closing chapter in a nightly episode that plays out like a vampiric Groundhog Day. Glenn di Benedetto, the flask-swigging crooner of dusky glam-rock troupe Parlour Bells, understands the concept of coming alive just as the sun fades. The Bells' new EP, Thank God for the Night, is less a love letter to nightlife and more a police blotter of the messy arc experienced with each foray towards midnight, from the ambition and intrigue you feel while getting your hair did, to the climax of passing out somewhere piss-drunk, alone or not-alone. It's a bedtime story for adults who never go to bed.

"The best things happen at night; all my ideas come to me at night, all my mistakes happen at night, and I feel like people look their best at night," di Benedetto explains, sipping a martini at Eastern Standard and dressed for this Monday meet-up like it was Saturday. "There are always two aspects: there's the preparation, the style, getting dressed up. And that's all to get fucked up and destroy what you've created. Isn't that what night's all about? You put on a suit, but you already know where it's going if all goes well — it's ending up on the floor."

In late 2010 Parlour Bells released Heart Beatings, a collection of songs written by di Benedetto and guitarist and longtime collaborator Nate Leavitt that reinforced the duo's glitzy, noir-pop sound. But it was also written entirely before the Bells would first perform live. All of the songs on Thank God for the Night — from the sinister, burglar chimes of "You Don't Wear That Dress, The Dress Wears You" to the synth-lounge yearning of "Bachelor Hours" — were fleshed out on stages across Boston before being crystallized in the studio.

The result is a more grandiose sound, which includes a guest sax appearance by Morphine's Dana Colley on "Dress," rounded out by a live band with bassist Brendan Boogie and keyboardist Magen Tracy. The record, while released digitally, also comes with a detailed storybook depicting the band becoming increasingly disheveled and rolling on crescent-moon-shaped pills. The visual fits the sound, a mix of Hunky Dory-era Bowie and the second half of Jane's Addiction's Ritual Do Lo Habitual (the band once earned the approval of Dave Navarro for their cover of Jane's' "Classic Girl"). There's a theatrical element to it all, but it's still appropriate for the lounge.

"As much as I'm into minimalist sounds, I grew up on '90s bombast," di Benedetto admits. "I'm intrigued by something that's a little ugly, as long as it's pushing the boundaries." - Boston Phoenix


“We had a very busy 2011,” including winning approval from Dave Navarro himself for a cover of Jane's Addiction's "Classic Girl,” di Benedetto said, “and we're honored that 2012 has already led to this.”

But even with past experience on their side, Parlour Bells -- who describe their music as "[evocative of] the musical storytelling and theater of indie anthem acts such as Arcade Fire, but complemented with the sexiness and swagger of David Bowie" -- knows they're up against a solid set of competitors. - Boston Globe


“We had a very busy 2011,” including winning approval from Dave Navarro himself for a cover of Jane's Addiction's "Classic Girl,” di Benedetto said, “and we're honored that 2012 has already led to this.”

But even with past experience on their side, Parlour Bells -- who describe their music as "[evocative of] the musical storytelling and theater of indie anthem acts such as Arcade Fire, but complemented with the sexiness and swagger of David Bowie" -- knows they're up against a solid set of competitors. - Boston Globe


Well this should make up for not being able to play the Faces Nightclub Demolition party last week (sorry we missed it, Cambridge, how'd it all go down? Did you love it? Any bodies turn up?). At the end of the day, who needs an old disco funeral on a rainy day on Route 2 when you got Dave Navarro applauding your musical echoes.

"A few days after PARLOUR BELLS unveiled a cover of Jane's Addiction's spirited 1989 ballad "Classic Girl," Navarro took to Twitter earlier today to issue online props for the stripped-down re-do and plug their Bandcamp link." - Boston Phoenix


Well this should make up for not being able to play the Faces Nightclub Demolition party last week (sorry we missed it, Cambridge, how'd it all go down? Did you love it? Any bodies turn up?). At the end of the day, who needs an old disco funeral on a rainy day on Route 2 when you got Dave Navarro applauding your musical echoes.

"A few days after PARLOUR BELLS unveiled a cover of Jane's Addiction's spirited 1989 ballad "Classic Girl," Navarro took to Twitter earlier today to issue online props for the stripped-down re-do and plug their Bandcamp link." - Boston Phoenix


"Parlour Bells, draped in noir-pop darkness but coated in a sense of unnerving ease, are the perfect soundtrack for that "what-the-eff-happened-last-night" conversation. Tonight the duo, comprising Blizzard of '78 guitarist Nate Leavitt and Killer Suit Creative Media producer Glenn di Benedetto, release Heart Beatings, a purring EP that seduces with its lounge effects." -- Michael Marotta, Music Arts Editor, The Boston Phoenix - Boston Phoenix


Discography

"Thank God for the Night" (EP) 1/18/2013
"I'd Like To Think" (Single) 3/08/2012
"O Holiday" (Single) 1/01/2012
"Classic Girl" (Jane's Addiction Cover) 10/19/2011
"Speak Up" (Single) 7/24/2011
Heavy Dream Remix Project (Compilation) 5/17/2011
Heart Beatings (EP) 11/12/2010

All of the above tracks have received radio airplay on Boston FM radio and are all available for streaming. "Speak Up" spent six weeks at number one in the WZLX Boston Emissions Local Song Poll.

Photos

Bio

Named one of the Best Local Rock Bands in Boston by CBS, Parlour Bells is dusky, darkly romantic lounge pop and art rock from the Boston-area songwriting duo of Glenn di Benedetto and Nate Leavitt.

Nate Leavitt is a Boston music veteran who has opened for national acts that include Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Guster and Remy Zero. With Parlour Bells, Leavitt rejoins his longtime songwriting partner Glenn di Benedetto.

Frontman Glenn di Benedetto, who has drawn comparisons to Bowie, Nick Cave and Perry Farrell, croons dramatic anthems against gritty, rocking neo-glam and pop riffs. Nate Leavitt’s guitar is commanding straight-up rock set against a taut, sexy rhythm section, bright dreamy synth and strong male and female backing vocals. While they fit most comfortably in the rock genre, Parlour Bells craft pop songs that are potentially cross-marketable.

The first single from their debut EP Heart Beatings, “Pet Names,” a disco-tinged romantic rocker, premiered on 100.7 WZLX’s Boston Emissions with Anngelle Wood on September 26, 2010. Since then, the band built a super live lineup that includes Magen Tracy, Brendan Boogie and Sean Drinkwater, and has performed throughout the Boston area.

Parlour Bells has released a number of singles since Heart Beatings which have gained significant attention from press and radio. Their single “Speak Up” spent six weeks at number one on WZLX’s Boston Emissions Sunday Top 5. And “O Holiday,” was included in The Boston Phoenix 8-song holiday sampler.

The band even got an unexpected surprise when their impromptu, acoustic recording of Jane’s Addiction’s
“Classic Girl” was discovered by guitarist Dave Navarro who tweeted a link of the track out to his followers with his stamp of approval, “Great cover!”

In April 2012, Parlour Bells participated in the 33rd
Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble, a time honored tradition in the Boston music scene started by legendary radio station WBCN which has launched acts from ‘Til Tuesday to The Dresden Dolls.

On June 30, 2012 Parlour Bells performed at the historic
sendoff concert at Paradise Rock Club for 101.7 WFNX, which ended 29 years of terrestrial broadcasting in July. As part of a 4 band lineup, they were invited to represent “the new” alongside veteran Boston acts O Positive and Orbit.

The band’s latest EP, Thank God for the Night, which Boston Phoenix Music Editor Michael Marotta calls, “a bedtime story for adults who never go to bed,” features Dana Colley of
Morphine on saxophone and has earned two “song of the year” distinctions by Jed Gottlieb of The Boston Herald.

The first single “Airwaves,” was written in response to the fall of 101.7 WFNX and includes a group vocal with over 20 performers, writers and DJs from the Boston music community.