“It’s fun to play festivals, because you kind of never know what’s going to happen,” said Kiki (a.k.a. Christina Appel) of the indie-psych-dream-pop band known as Parrot Dream. The Brooklyn-based musicians were all happily enjoying the fresh air right outside Scout & Co., the small spot they’d just filled with their mesmeric sound during their Waking Windows set. Chiming in as a group, they told us a little bit about their dreamy debut LP, Light Goes, what music is coming next, and the perks of playing an intimate coffee shop.
Impressively, it wasn’t Parrot Dream’s first time performing in the tiny town that plays host to Waking Windows. “We played in Winooski last fall; we did a very short tour of upstate New York and here,” Kiki recalled. Guitarist Gonzalo Guerrero said of their Waking Windows set, “It’s different. Actually, playing in a coffee shop is like…weird,” he said with a laugh. “But it’s interesting, because there’s a different crowd then, just walking in to get a coffee or something.” Kiki added, “But it’s nice, because you can make connections with folks you might have never had listen to you.” Open as always, they commented on how it can sometimes be tough getting the mix they want while performing. “I think live, how it sounds out there, is kind of tricky and kind of up to the sound person that’s there,” said Kiki. “It’s very hard to control our live sound, because it’s like two very different keys fighting sometimes,” Gonzalo explained. “We work really hard to create that balance. It’s a challenge for sure.”
Parrot Dream meshed together quite nicely live, even in a narrow space, so it was interesting to hear about the struggle for balance they described. After they reflected on their show, we also got to hear them reflect on their debut full-length record, Light Goes, released last August. “I think we’re proud of how it kind of shows progression of our musical development,” said Kiki. “We started writing it right before Gonzalo and I came from Chile, and then we continued writing it here. We recorded thirteen songs, and there’s only ten on the album.” But as we found out, those three remaining songs won’t remain a mystery – fans can look forward to hearing them in just a few months. “We’re actually releasing the last three songs that were recorded for the last album as B-sides in the end of July,” revealed Kiki, adding, “We’re working on some new songs and some local shows.” Gonzalo echoed the good news. “We’re taking a break to write new stuff,” he said. “We played a lot during the winter last year, so we need that break.”
On the topic of writing new music, bassist Matthew Sklar shared insight on the group’s process for putting a song together. “Usually, the song ideas really come from Gonzalo and Kiki, and we all kind of bring in our parts. A lot of stuff is borne out of us just kind of messing around during rehearsals. Then we brought in Chris to add another layer with more synths and stuff,” he said, motioning toward keyboardist Chris Baang. Kiki added, “Gonzalo really comes up with the bass, and then we kind of work on it together a bit.” Parrot Dream draw inspiration from “Life in general,” as Gonzalo explained. “Living in New York is kind of like a struggle itself. There is so much shit happening. I don’t know; music, for me, is like…trying to find the true melodies.”
Parrot Dream shared their plans for the rest of the festival day, which were right in sync with our own. “We’re definitely going to see some Brooklyn friends, Operator Music Band, and check out tUnE-yArDs,” Kiki said with an enthusiastic smile. We also learned, moments later, that they had some good whiskey plans too. Sklar noted that he likes Sazerac Rye, Rittenhouse Rye, and that the whole band enjoys Bulleit. He also said that right after our interview, they were planning to head to Winooski’s Misery Loves Co. to check out its nice-looking drink menu. And as soon as we heard that, we couldn’t, in good conscience, hold them from tasty whiskey any longer.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley