Unconventional is probably the most succinct way of putting it. Obsessive, eccentric, indulgent: they’re all equally fair. If Parenthetical Girls have learned anything over the course of their bewilderingly unorthodox discography, it’s that they are-for richer or for poorer-a necessarily singular pop group. It’s a peculiarity that they’ve learned to embrace-a single-minded conviction that pours itself over every corner of their latest album, Privilege.Having taken pop extravagance to its logical conclusion with their critically acclaimed, orchestral pop opus Entanglements, Privilege finds a newly emboldenedParenthetical Girls giving the orchestra their leave – a brazen reinvention as immediate as it is inspired. Returning to its core membership of vocalist/creative director Zac Pennington and producer/arranger Jherek Bischoff (composer and collaborator with David Byrne, Amanda Palmer, Xiu Xiu, etc.), Privilege retains the group’s signature ambitions-visceral intimacy, camp austerity, lurid eloquence-while confidently embracing the perfect pop pastiche their previous records only alluded to. Anchored byPennington’s distinctively lilting vibrato, Privilege is a cascade of grim particulars and gallows humour-an unflinching treatise on privilege, indiscretion, betrayal, sex and class politics, failure, and resignation. This is Parenthetical Girls in fighting trim: unbridled, unambiguous, and with a new creative candor that’s felt in both its words and music.
Originally recorded and self-released as a sequence of five self-contained, extremely limited 12″ EPs (each heroically hand-numbered in the blood of the group’s members, and available only through direct mailorder) the ambitious Privilege series was a grand and unequivocally impractical achievement. Privilege condenses the 21 recordings of the original series to a single, 12-track, remixed and remastered statement of purpose: a bold, strikingly cohesive pop clarion call that further solidifies Parenthetical Girls’ place amongst the most surprising and uncompromising pop groups at work today.Privilege will be released in the UK via Splendour on 4th March 2013