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“The New Sounds Of Late Capitalism” — an album that contemplates themes of isolation and disappointment

The New Sounds of Late Capitalism is the latest release from Austin-based band Star Parks. It is their second album, and it is quickly becoming my favorite piece of vinyl for 2020. The record is a thoughtful contemplation on themes of isolation and postmodernism. I wouldn’t consider it a sad album though. It’s cautiously optimistic.

Songs like “Palm Sunday” and “All Your Sad Days At Once” are accompanied by a sauntering arrangement from the band while frontman Andy Bianculli helps you see the brighter side of life with his vocals

“I found an old Concord reel to reel in my parent’s attic in New York” explains Bianculli when talking about early inspirations. “When I played the tape it was my father as a 12-year-old boy recording the The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show off the television. There are so many layers to that discovery that affected me and made me contemplate my place in time, my family, America, culture and music. To me it was like discovering the spark that gave man fire, in that it is a first hand account of a moment that propelled me and the whole world in a different direction. I knew I wanted to write about moments like that — moments that had promise but inevitably lead to disappointment.”

The piece of vinyl itself is a thing of beauty as well. All that love and care that was put into the music seems to have been applied to the packaging of the record too.

Star Park’s sound is reminiscent of so many other bands that I’ve held dear over the years — The Morning Benders, Fleet Foxes, Efterklang — and yet, they bring something completely fresh.

Star Parks began as Andy Bianculli’s solo project but it has since blossomed into a mini-orchestra. First expanding into a four-piece band with the addition of Keith Lough on drums, Ben Burdick on bass and Nathaniel Klugman on keyboards. Later the band was joined by trumpet player, Derek Phelps and trombonist Wayne Myers.

The band’s producer, Danny Reisch is almost like the seventh member of the band. He has played a pivotal role in helping the band shape the sound of the new album. The idea was to reproduce a time where studios could employ dozens of musicians and keep orchestras on hand. Without such resources, the band developed what they called “Burt Bacharach on a budget.”

Check out a few select singles from The New Sounds of Late Capitalism below but I implore you to buy the album and listen to it in full (it’s just that kind of record).

Star Parks – Something More

Star Parks – Oh Boredom (Schmaltz City, USA)

Star Parks – Palm Sunday

Star Parks :
Andy Bianculli – Vocals, Guitar
Ben Burdick – Vocals, Bass
Keith Lough – Drums
Nathaniel Klugman – Keys
Wayne Myers – Trombone
Derek Phelps – Trumpet