Review: Parcels – Herefore Remix EP

Australia’s Parcels are making a bold move with Herefore, their debut EP. As their first ever recording together, this Byron Bay pop group have opted to write just a single track, and let it have the makeover treatment by four remixing masters of varied stature in the musical community. Allowing others to remould your aural handiwork is, in itself, a brave step for a new band with no proven track record, and to present to the public a single musical expression in several different forms requires a strong faith in your own songwriting and ability to sustain several listens. Happily, for the most part this EP is a bundle of summery fun which has success written across its five tracks.

It goes without saying that the strength of any collection of remixes must be based in the strength of the original track, and Parcels have created a simplistic and joyful pocket of funk-infused pop in ‘Herefore’. The electronic groove is augmented by piano interjections and warm saxophone lines, ensuring that the human and the computer align perfectly to express a cohesive, sunny feeling. The main hook of the chorus does everything a hook is designed to do, with almost reggae-like guitar rhythms enhancing the relaxed vibe still further and pulling you in.

Roisto’s remix maintains a similar cheery feeling, ramping up the tempo and adding in heaps of Daft Punk danceability. Utilising synths, drums and bass lines that cannot fail to bring to mind the helmeted duo’s mid career pop-house as well as their more recent disco-inspired outing, Roisto wears his influences on his sleeve and drags ‘Herefore’ straight onto the glittering dance floor.

A different French duo, Her, take on the next remix and give ‘Herefore’ the biggest musical rejuvenation the EP has to offer. New musical ideas change the atmosphere of the song into a much more sultry and seductive number, changing the chords beneath the catchy melodies to add some adult depth to proceedings, with bright synth motifs also bring a new level of sheen.

Unfortunately, Kid Simius’ Caribou impersonation falls a little short in terms of inventiveness and is the least engaging remix on offer here, dragging on a little too long. In contrast, Onda makes light work of transforming ‘Herefore’ into a rhythmic, R&B style floor-filler. Hard basslines and churning synths once again highlight the sensual rhythms that appear inherent in the track when it is slowed down.

There are not a huge number of lyrics on ‘Herefore’, meaning that overhearing this EP can grow a little tiresome with time and repetition, but this quibble aside this is a varied and largely very entertaining collection of songs. Serving as not just an advert for the various remix artists’ skills but as a demonstration of Parcels’ songcrafting abilities and knack for ear candy, Herefore hits the mark in terms of what a release like this should be doing. Whether it is enough for a band at this stage in their career will be interesting to find out.

Richard Spencer

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