There’s a streak of Los Angeles’ Paisley Underground running through “Blurred Harmony,” the fourth full-length from Portland indie-rockers the Parson Red Heads. Which figures: L.A. had a soft spot for the familial Oregonians the minute they unpacked their cars upon moving here in 2005 and, all clad in white, started playing their big-hearted music wherever they could get a gig. It’s been almost seven years now since the Red Heads moved back to Oregon, but the band — Evan and Brett Marie Way, Sam Fowles and Robbie Augspurger — still have ties to L.A.. Some of their extended musical family settled here. And Raymond Richards, the producer/engineer who has works with and plays lap steel for them, himself moved his studio from L.A. to Portland.
The Red Heads have coming a long way musically since their early days making rough-around-the-edges folk-pop. Everything is tighter — the writing, the harmonies, the pretty guitar parts, the sense of purpose — but not at the expense of sounding too grown up. They’re still the kids down the block. “This record is more a true part of us than any record we have made before – we put ourselves into it, made ourselves fully responsible for it,” says Way, the principal songwriter who with drummer/wife Brett now have three children themselves. “It’s an album dealing with everything that has come before. It’s an album about nostalgia, about time, change, about the hilarious, wonderful, bittersweet, sometimes sad, always incredible experience of living. Sometimes it is about regret, or the possibility of regret. These are big topics, and to us, it is a big album, yet somehow still intimate and honest.” The album, produced by Fowles, is out June 9 via Fluff and Gravy Records. Fans of ’70s power-pop, the Paisley Underground, Teenage Fanclub, Fleetwood Mac and the Laurel Canyon sound will fare well here.
||| Stream: “Coming Down,” “Time After Time” and “Please Come Save Me”
||| Live: The Parson Red Heads play the Satellite on July 28, joined by the World Record, the Henry Clay People and Le Switch. Tickets.