The Royal Parks offers insight into their sensational debut album, Suburb Home
The Melbourne five-piece dissect the emotions and sounds behind their debut album, one soft strum of guitar at a time.
Header photo taken by Tearlach Wales.
Boasting a strong, personal touch through its passionate and emotive lyricism, The Royal Parks' debut album Suburb Home is a heart-breaker. The mellow and sombre guitar work, which make up the bulk of the indie-folk-leaning instrumentals, are intricate and delicate, matching the moody vocal harmonies that breathe across the album's 10 tracks, telling stories about loss and hope, among other themes. Whilst many of the tracks are aurally simplistic, the emotional exploration and stories behind them are contrastingly complex and confronting, largely revolving around the loss of a band member's best friend. With the album now out as of last week and an album-launch scheduled for the tail end of next month (more deets at the bottom of this track-by-track), we got the Melbourne five-piece to delve into some of these aforementioned emotions and stories which make the backbone of the album's lyrics, plus the instrumentation and recording processes that helped them truly come to life musically.
Not everyone can experience what this song is attempting to describe. There’s something special about visiting the house/suburb/town of a new lover/friend. This song tries to capture the feeling of getting to know someone better and the complexities that can bring. The harmonies in this song remind me of Fleetwood Mac, which is nice.
You can definitely hear the Celtic-folk influences in Decisions, and I really love the three-part harmonies. This song explores the undefined, unspoken and sometimes messy part of friendships – to what degree do you consider friends when making decisions? What happens when that consideration isn’t reciprocated? You write a song, that’s what.
Forgive (Part One)
A lot of the songs on this album are about dealing with the death of loved ones. Intimate relationships are complex, and those complexities can become amplified when that person isn’t around anymore.
Conjure (Part One and Part Two)
This song is about a dream I had about my dearest friend, Ilan, after he passed away on New Years Day, 2013. The dream, which is described in the song, I think represented a fear that I would lose/distort some of my most cherished memories because I didn’t have him around to corroborate them. The dream felt so real – the feeling of waking up and realising that he is still gone was a powerful experience. I still sometimes dream about him and it’s always a bitter/sweet experience.
These songs are my favourites on the album. Writing these songs has helped me engage and deal with these things from a position of strength and agency and has helped me come to terms with such a tragic loss.
A Lover’s Mind
How do you talk about your grievances in a way that is productive? Why do we get the most petty/impatient/intolerant of the ones we love most? How can you talk about things that can help another person appreciate your point of view? It seems like an urgent question at the moment.
In The Wrong
In The Wrong is a reflection on making mistakes - it came from a realisation I (Dan) wasn’t listening carefully enough. Hearing stories from the women in my life that they often feel as though their opinions and feelings aren’t taken seriously; In The Wrong is a reflection how I (Dan) should do better.
Forgive (Part Two)
I love the harmonies in this song. For me, it captures the dreaminess and mystery of death. Amy wrote the melody and most of the words to this little interlude, and I really love how abstract the lyrics are compared to the songs I write.
Forgive (Part Three)
When my best friend Ilan died, I really felt as though I had lost my innocence. Instantly I felt a lot older. I was forced to confront things that so many people before me have confronted, and I felt like I was exposed to a totally different experience of being a person. It’s pretty obvious I was listening to a lot of Neil Young at the time.
May 29 | Bella Union, Melbourne (Suburb Home Launch with Slow Motion Picture and Amariana Waters)
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