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“Tipped by Final Fantasy's Owen Pallett as the best album of 2008...Parenthetical Girls are long overdue some fat hype.” - Plan B
“…experimental modern opera, a glittering Broadway musical, the soundtrack to a 1940s Hollywood romance, a carousing circus troupe and a fragile, solitary torch singer crooning to the moon…” – The Guardian
“…impeccable arrangements, wormy melodies, and jarring carnal imagery…” – Spin.com
Parenthetical Girls (formerly The Swastika Girls) are an experimental pop band formed in Everett, Washington, and currently based in Portland, Oregon.
Begun primarily as a recording project, the current touring version of the band consists of Zac Pennington, Rachael Jensen, Eddy Crichton and Matt Carlson. Former touring members Jherek Bischoff and Sam Mickens (The Dead Science) continue to contribute to the group's recorded output.
Having first taken their name from the Brian Eno composition “Swastika Girls,” original members Zac Pennington and Jeremy Cooper self-released their limited run debut EP Christmas With Swastika Girls in 2002. Following Cooper's departure and a name change, Pennington released (((GRRRLS))), the band's vinyl-only debut album on his own Slender Means Society label in 2004. Recorded with the help of Jherek Bischoff and Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu ), (((GRRRLS))) features a total of seven songs repeated on both sides of the vinyl record, each side featuring the respective mixes of Stewart and Bischoff.
This was followed by the digital-only self-release of their second Christmas-themed EP Christmas With Parenthetical Girls that same year, as well as their second album Safe As Houses (released on Slender Means Society in the U.S and on Acuarela Discos in Europe), the expanded CD reissue of the (((GRRRLS))) album, and a third self-released Christmas EP, A Parenthetical Girls Family Christmas in 2006. A split 7-inch with The Dead Science was released by Obsolete Vernacular in 2007.
New album Entanglements sees the band trading in their small-screen sincerity for a bold and blustering Technicolour – a lush, longing and lusty celluloid schmaltz out now on Tomlab.
An orchestral song-cycle of grand sonic ambition, Entanglements is an eleven-song, linear narrative of ascendancy, adolescent sexuality, quantum mechanics, consent and other moral ambiguities.
Borrowing from the string-swept sentimentality of Van Dyke Parks, Scott Walker, Jack Nitzsche, and Burt Bacharach, Entanglements draws colorful lines across the expanse between these orchestral pop antiquities and the more formidable strains of Modern Classical composers.
Parenthetical Girls have played with Deerhoof, Xiu Xiu, and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone.