The latest product of the increasingly unmissable Melbourne-scene, Parsnip are thankfully every bit as odd as their band name would suggest. A pair of well received 7″ singles introduced Parsnip to the world in the last two years, and this week marks the release of their debut album, When The Tree Bears Fruit.
A perfectly absurd record, When The Tree Bears Fruit combines play-ground singalongs with Casio-keyboards and lo-fi rhythms, coming across like the middle-ground of Deerhoof and The Goon Sax. While you might initially feel like you’ve fallen face-first into a kids story written by Salvador Dali, the thrill here comes as the pieces start to align, beneath the flamboyancy and surrealism, this remains an album of loss and longing, of finding the oddness in the mundane and dreaming of escaping the everyday and going out in search of whatever the world has to throw at you. Joyful, daft, and really rather wonderful, consider Parsnip redefined as far more than just one of our least favourite vegetables.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Parsnip?
Parsnip are four friends. Introducing –
Printmaker, ceramicist, illustrator, all round freak of nature and loving mother of a Lumpi cat.
Birder, worder, weirdo, wanderer. Steers the PP Rocket round the moon and eats parsnip every day.
Luminous pool shark, jeweller, pioneer of Queen Wave, puts Blue Steel to shame.
Twerker, crossword extraordinaire, professional sleeper, future hip hop chart topper – watch this space.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
We performed a little set for friends and family in Carolyn and Stella’s lounge room in 2016. This was before Bec’s time, we had the OG Sequoia on the keys. Traffik Island played too. I cut my hair after seeing a photo from that day because I thought I looked like a member of Black Sabbath (not necessarily a bad thing, just wasn’t what I was going for). It’s likely we would have busted some moves to Deceptacon into the early hours of the morning.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
We are makers and creators of all kinds – for instance, Stella can make a mean caramel slice, Bec is an artist of exquisite contemporary jewellery and Carolyn can just damn well do it all. We make music together for fun and for the enjoyment of being in each other’s company. I think the sense of community and the creative freedom is the most rewarding part of playing in a band, especially when it’s with people that are on the same level. Great gang to share a stage with. We got a good thing goin’!
FTR: What can people expect from the Parsnip live show?
There’s a tendency to laugh through sets or speak in strange languages which can be as confusing for us as it is for the crowd. There was a little mascot at the last show, which was just a raw parsnip with a face drawn on … but oh yeah, there are songs too! Our tunes are pretty playful, all of us chiming along (ba-da-bup-baa!) We’re tough with glee. Plus, I’m lucky to have such superstar musicians by my side – everyone delivers.
FTR: What’s next for Parsnip?
Catnip – Parsnip, but with our cats.
They Listen To…
1. The Monks – I Can’t Get Over You
Way ahead of their time. The LP Black Monk Time messes up my entire nervous system – it can be so terrifying and fun and awe-inspiring. I feel it surging through my entire being!
2. The Incredible String Band – Everything’s Fine Right Now
ISB can do no wrong – always in great spirits. Just a sweet, little lovin’ tune.
3. Deceptacon – Le Tigre
I mentioned busting moves to this earlier – this track has been a major part of Parsnip history for some time now. Before Parsnip formed I cried watching the Kathleen Hanna documentary (The Punk Singer) because I wanted more than anything to be in a band. Sasha Velour does a mad lip sync too.
4. Waterfall Person – Waterfall Miracle
Waterfall Person has the magical ability to crack the cold exterior of Melbourne crowds and puts smiles on all the people’s faces. Always a treat.
5. Fireman Sam Theme Song
Is this not one of the best theme songs of all time?
When The Tree Bears Fruit is out August 30th via Trouble In Mind. Click HERE for more information on Parsnip.