Sometimes you buy tickets to go out and see a band you really dig and you have no idea about the opening acts. In fact, I went out to see the band Hoops (highly recommend by the way) and had seen nothing in the literature or online about who was opening for them. Well, a Michigan synth duo called Parts opened for Hoops and what a wonderful surprise they were! Consisting of Alyssa Midcalf and Marley Ferguson, the duo produces moody, soaring synth pop that will get the head bobbing and the body moving. They have produced an initial, tantalizing EP which is self-titled and contains three extremely strong tracks.
The EP begins with “Pieces”, which starts with a spacey vibe sitting on a fuzzy, floating cloud of sonic goodness. The bass thumps into the speakers and Midcalf and Ferguson begin dual vocals, singing in both harmony as well in different sort of, well, parts. They mash up the more experimental moments of bands like O.M.D. with the poppiness of twee bands like Heavenly. All of the tones and textures bring to the table a freshness mixed with hints of synth-laden nostalgia. “Play Fair” has edgy tones with aggressive percussion and brightly toned melodies. The vocals provide a breathy, organic foil to the very electronicness of the synth compositions. The chorus is especially addictive and memorizing, calling out to the hearer’s body to move in time.
The last track on this very short EP, “Flowers”, begins with some gloomy synth tones reverberating through the speakers with bassier vocals. This eventually becomes the bed and brighter synths come in as a counter with higher vocals backing up the deeper sung melodies. And, by the way, my nostalgia for O.M.D. goes off big time with this particular offering. “Flowers” is the final track on the EP but it leaves the listener wanting more.
Great surprises are always welcome when it comes to music. Parts was definitely one of those wonderful happenings at a gig that brought new and wonderful music into my life. This three-song, self-titled EP comes on digital and a beautiful limited edition cassette. If these three songs are any indication, we should expect great things from Parts and I hope we don’t have to wait too long for their first full-length!