Parquet Courts' special breed of "Americana punk" began in 2010 when some former Texans who had relocated to Brooklyn began practicing and gigging regularly. The band was centered around Fergus & Geronimo songwriter Andrew Savage, and also included guitarist Austin Brown, bassist Sean Yeaton, and drummer Max Savage. Much like in Teenage Cool Kids, the band Andrew Savage still split his time with back in his hometown of Denton, Texas, Parquet Courts produced noisy indie rock with jagged punk edges borrowed from late-'90s guitar-heavy alternative acts. The band played often in the greater New York area and released its first album, American Specialties, exclusively on cassette in late 2011 (a vinyl release followed in 2012). A more widely distributed full-length, Light Up Gold, was issued on the Dull Tools label in the summer of 2012, and the band's first U.S. tour followed by the end of the year. Light Up Gold quickly caught on and was reissued on Brooklyn label What's Your Rupture? in early 2013 to wider distribution. They became darlings of the indie rock world thanks to the response to the record from the press, constant touring, and their intractable charm.
When not on the road, they spent much of their time in the studio recording songs for their next record, with a five-song EP, Tally All the Things That You Broke, surfacing late in 2013. Their third album, Sunbathing Animal, was released in June of 2014, again on What's Your Rupture?, and again, members of the band followed up with a collection of more slapdash recordings almost immediately, releasing the album-length Content Nausea as Parkay Quarts in November of the same year. In March of 2015, the group's first concert recording, Live at Third Man Records, was issued. That summer, the band released split 7" singles with Big Ups (on Roekie Records) and Joey Pizza Slice (on Wharf Cat Records). Rough Trade signed Parquet Courts and released the experimental, primarily instrumental Monastic Living EP in November. Meanwhile, they were working on their next album, which was the first to have songwriting contributions from all four members. Working at Sonelab studios in western Massachusetts and Wilco's Loft in Chicago, but mostly at Dreamland Studio in upstate New York (where the B-52s recorded "Love Shack"), the bandmembers spent their days writing songs and their nights recording them. The resulting album, early 2016's Human Performance, was their darkest and most inward-looking effort to date. ~ Fred Thomas