If a young person were to come up to me and ask: “how do I become a successful musician?” I would first respond “didn’t your parents tell you not to talk to strangers?” and “I don’t know, I stopped playing bass after high school.” Then I would think about the question some more and pretend to be sage-like and respond with a question: “what do you define as successful?” In my mind, success is working hard and having fun; then I would hand them the catalog of songs by the Parmesans.
In the past two years, the San Francisco trio have put out three EPs, and LP and played countless gigs across the Golden State. They first caught our attention with The Smell of Silence and the delightful Wolf Eggs. With their arsenal of mandolin, stand-up bass, and acoustic guitar the Parmesans continue serve up their sweet and indelible brand of indie-folk on their latest release, Nature’s Burrito. I still maintain that the indie-folk/bluegrass scene is rife with irony, and each of the tracks on this EP seem to serve up a wink and a smile. As I continue to listen though, the fun the band is having seems authentic and the hooks leave the seven songs on repeat in my brain.
Between the swaying “Sweet Plete Neat Pete,” uptempo re-release of “Walls For the Wind,” and the boot-stomping “Pallet On the Floor,” I maintain that this band creates songs so fun and full of folksy authenticity to their core that they make me want to whisk my family away to the country and sip drinks while the sun sets.
That is success to me: being able to translate all of that hard work into enjoyment that is not only tangible, but also makes me yearn to build a log cabin, or a yurt. Well, one level of success anyway. There are plenty of successful bands that I enjoy and don’t make me want to uproot again, but that doesn’t take anything away from the Parmesans. Go grab Nature’s Burrito from their bandcamp page for any price you’re willing to pay, and find out if their music makes you want to stay or go.
Clay is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot. He lives in Denver, CO and has a fondness for yurts