Pia Fraus – Empty Parks
SEKs074 (Buy here)
Following the release of their long-awaited Field Ceremony, Pia Fraus are back with a new LP entitled Empty Parks. This time, the band consists of Eve Komp (vocals, synth), Kärt Ojavee (synth), Rein Fuks (guitar, vocals, synth, tambourine, shaker), Reijo Tagapere (bass), Joosep Volk (drums, electronic percussions), and Kristel Eplik (backing vocals). Volk is back on drums for the first time since 2002’s In Solarium and, of course, the original singer Kristel Eplik provides backup vocals which brings back a nostalgic lineup for this album’s recording.
“Empty Parks” takes the listener on a different journey than prior Pia Fraus full lengths. The album begins with an underlying, mild sense of melancholy. The bright, effervescent guitars and vocals are recognizable in a way that only Pia Fraus can make them, but they bounce off a bit of minor chording and slight tension. It’s a beautiful balancing act the band keeps until that bright poppiness returns almost entirely in tracks like “Sweet Sunday Snow” and “Paper Flower Projects”. An emotional ride every fan will want to take, and new fans will be impressed with, the song arrangements on the album are in perfect order and the stand-out standards are equally thrilling. Hidden Parks may be the band’s best outing yet and is most certainly a reflection and soundtrack to the events going on worldwide.
Pia Fraus “Empty Parks” is produced and mixed by John McEntire at Soma Electronic Music Studios, and mastered by Lauri Liivak at Lauri Liivak Mastering Studio. John McEntire is one of the most important producers and sound engineers in the indie scene since the nineties. He has engineered, produced, and mixed albums for many artists including Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, The Pastels, Teenage Fanclub, Broken Social Scene, Jaga Jazzist, Smog (Bill Callahan), and of course his Tortoise and Sea and Cake.
Released on January 20, 2020
01. Hidden Parks
02. Love Sports
03. Slow Boat Fades Out
04. Mr. Land Freezer
05. Sweet Sunday Snow
6. The New Water
07. Paper Flower Projects
08. You’re Not in Love
09. Nice and Clever
10. Late Summer Night
11. Australian Boots
Eve Komp – vocals, synth
Kärt Ojavee – synth
Rein Fuks – guitar, vocals, synth, tambourine, shaker
Reijo Tagapere – bass
Joosep Volk – drums, electronic percussions
Kristel Eplik – back vocals
All songs written and arranged by Rein Fuks
Recorded by Rein Fuks at Seksound Studio, Tallinn, Estonia.
Synths and electronic percussions recorded at the country house, Loe village, Estonia.
Drums, acoustic guitars and some electric guitars recorded by Erko Niit at Neat Beat Studio, Pärnu, Estonia.
Mixed by John McEntire at Soma Electronic Music Studios, Nevada City, CA, USA.
Produced by John McEntire, Rein Fuks, Lauri Liivak.
Mastered by Lauri Liivak at Peeter Salmela Studio, Tallinn, Estonia, and Lauri Liivak Mastering Studio, Pärnu, Estonia.
Artwork by Kaarel Vahtramäe.