Album Review: Love Parade – A Strawberry Situation (2010 EP)

Landing just in time for summer is A Strawberry Situation, the warm and catchy EP from Newcastle band Love Parade. The band have already been earning kudos thanks to Triple J Unearthed, but despite positive reviews and a growing fan base, Love Parade remain somewhat elusive. What we do know about them (thanks to their charmingly dorky Enid Blyton-inspired bio) is this: they’re a young four-piece hailing from Newcastle; they named their band after a street name two of the members saw and took a shining to; and they play music with a distinctively offbeat, vintage pop slant.

Since the release of 2006’s “The River” – their contemplative, harmony-rich and piano-driven debut single which boasts a gorgeous instrumental breakdown in the song’s final thirty seconds – the band seem to be growing more comfortable into their own skin. A Strawberry Situation gleams with a much more self-assured and mature sound than their earliest material. Opening track “It’s Happening Again” is a bright and psychedelic, with whispers of MGMT in the verse’s slightly dischordant vocals. The summer vibe continues on the sweet semi-love ditty “Pink Shoes”, the west coast acoustic guitar and the nostalgic “la las” making the song a surefire live favourite.

Love Parade’s sound is certainly eclectic, borrowing from everything from British power pop (“Strangers with Secrets”) and modern folk (the harmony rich “As Spring Hits the Valley” and the wonderfully moody closer “Draggin’ Out The Future”). The band may have found it hard to find like-minded artists in the small Newcastle music scene, but this EP shows this band is on their way to a bright future, and hopefully they’ll find some more peers along the way.

Review score: 7/10