Formed in Madison, Wisconsin as the musical culmination of a decade of friendship and playing in punk bands, Claire Nelson-Lifson and Tyler Fassnacht (Fire Heads) began writing the first of Proud Parent‘s jangly, garage infused pop tunes in Claire’s living room. Shortly thereafter Heather Sawyer (the Hussy) joined on drums and vocals, turning the songwriting duo into a trio, and they quickly garnered a devout following both locally and regionally, and gained a reputation throughout the Midwest as a live power pop force to be reckoned with. With Maggie Denman now in the ranks on bass, the band has been gaining a swift and sure following in its hometown, issuing a smattering of tapes before unleashing its full-length debut on Dirtnap Records June 22, marking the first time the label has issued a recording from a Madison band. (The label relocated to the Wisconsin capital about a year ago.)
The band is at times a throwback to the classic era of college rock, reminiscent of the nerve-y energy of Camper Van Beethoven and the bands emerging from the fertile Athens, Georgia music scene in the 1980s. “Hypnotoad” summons images of a male/female version of the Replacements circa Hootenanny. “Ducktales” blazes with an intensity rarely seen since the early glory days of Milwaukee’s Violent Femmes (though the Femmes blazed with acoustic, no electric instruments).
Still, despite these touchstones, Proud Parents never feel derivative. Instead, there’s something refreshing lurking in each of these songs, something youthful, joyous and undeniably infectious.
The new self-titled release was recorded and mixed by Bobby Hussy (the Hussy, Cave Curse, Fire Heads, TIT) and touches on themes of isolation, thrives on flourishes of humor and unexpected musical twists and turns along the way.
7/7 Minneapolis, MN – Eagles 34
7/8 Omaha, NB – O’leavers
7/9 Lawrence, KS – Haunted Kitchen
7/10 Fayetteville, AR – Backspace
7/11 Dallas, TX – 3 Links
7/12 Austin, TX – Beerland
7/14 New Orleans, LA – Circle Bar
7/15 Hattiesburg, MS – Looney Bin
7/16 Nashville, TN – the Cobra
7/17 St. Louis, MO – the Sinkhole
7/18 Champaign, IL – Memphis on Main
7/20 Madison, WI – Crystal Corner (release show)
7/21 Milwaukee, WI – Quarters Rock n Roll Palace