The Parlour Suite Interview and CD #Giveaway

Late August 2009, Joel & Inga Roberts of the husband and wife fronted band, The Parlour Suite, decided it was time to change hats and relocate. Cashing in on city living in north Minneapolis they headed west. Not so far as California, as anticipated, but to a cottage on Lake Minnetonka, 15 miles west of Minneapolis.  Over the past year The Parlour Suite has worked on writing the music for their new EP, Welcome to the Garden Party.  

Inga and Joel sent me a couple copies of the EP,  one for me and one for one of my readers, and I have to say I was blown away by this recording.  It usually takes a few listens for me to really get hooked into an album (of any length), but the poppy infectious sound of this EP had me singing along to the very first track, a sweet little tune reminiscent of early 1960's girl groups, on my very first listen! 

Inga's voice is instantly likable, something like a sweet brew of Iris Dement and Jenny Lewis with a splash of The Shirelles.  She takes the lead in the aforementioned The Goldenhand, Up From the Underground, and a beautifully haunting cover of Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

Evocative of the title of this work, Joel's guitar consistently made me think of lazy summer afternoons.  I could almost feel the breeze off of the river listening to him play.  He picks up lead vocals on the remaining tracks, Worth Your Weight in Gold and Welcome to Your Garden Party.  His slightly raspy vocals are an interesting counterpart to his partner's lilting tones.  

Overall this is a fantastic EP.  The only thing I'd like to have heard is a duet with some solid give and take between Joel and Inga to tie the rest of the tracks together, making it less his-turn-her-turn.  And I think a duet between them has to be fantastic (but then I am a sucker for the John Prine/Iris Dement duets).  Even so, I know I am going to have a hard time keeping this disc out of my car stereo for awhile.

As I mentioned, they sent me an extra copy to send to one of you guys!  Details on how to enter after the interview.

Speaking of which...

How do you describe your music to people?
"I always say vintage-pop. Because that is what inspires me. Old 60's chamber pop and movies like Dirty Dancing. They were able to capture  raw sound and movement with such soul. I would like to interpret ourselves in that same way." Inga

"Old soul pop. Love Sam Cooke." Joel 

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
"Santo & Johnny, Duane Eddy, Bo Diddley....and some Chuck Berry" Joel

"I've always felt the same way, but playing music as the Parlour Suite, with Joel, has helped me interpret that differently than I had before. I love what we are doing right now!" Inga 

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
"I love the whole wide world... and right now that is my favorite thing. Discovering new places that I've never been - because there are a lot of them!" Inga

"Probably my favorite thing I've done... surfing in Australia. AND Finding the original Ray's pizza in NYC" Joel 

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
"Doing it independently. Running your own music business has become a lot more accessible - but only if you still work really hard. It takes a lot of time,  support from fans, time to write music, and plan tours.... but is so much fun and honestly the best time ever! I can speak for both of us, that we wouldn't ever trade it. We would be lonely without it!" Inga & Joel

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
"I was either (A) going to be an Olympic swimmer, or (B) a guitar player in Poison" Joel

"I just wanted to travel - and sing.... so far so good!" Inga

In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
"Well we live next door to a vineyard, and wine is very influential...." Inga & Joel 
What other artists out there do you love?

What does your future hold? 
Continue to write music and record at the end of summer,  and try to tour as much as possible this fall.

For today.... we're buying fender amps and taking our dachshund, Carlos, on walks.




Super simple this time, and there are multiple entry opportunities.  Leave a separate comment for every action so that you get full credit for every entry!  Everybody gets a fair shake at stuffing the ballot box. 
  1. Leave a comment on this post.
  2. Blog about this giveaway, linking back here (and comment here that you did it).  Good for one entry.
  3. Same deal on Facebook or MySpace or whatever other social networking site you use.
  4. Tweet about the giveaway.  I'm @suchcoolstuff and the band is @theparloursuite.  You can do one tweet per day for extra entries (and be sure to comment here every time you do it).
Be sure to leave a way to contact you either in the comment or in your attached profile.  The usual Fine Print applies.  US and Canada only, 18+.

Deadline for entry is noon Central time July 31, 2010.  Good luck, y'all!

Bonus: Don't forget to enter to win 250 Custom Stickers and then check out more contests in the Giveaway Directory!