Featuring members of fellow Madison pop heroes The Hussy and Fire Heads, Proud Parents pick up similar cues from those bands’ respective power pop bounce and garage gusto. Following on their Rare Plant cassette from last year, the band’s debut for Dirtnap is a non-stop blur of sunny strums, clap-a-along choruses and joyous hooks that fizz with life. The band boasts three songwriters – Claire Nelson-Lifson, Tyler Fassnacht and Heather Sawyer – and part of the album’s charm is listening to the three bounce their songs off one another. No matter who’s at the helm, they all sound like they’re having a blast with the remaining two jumping in to support with backup harmonies brimming with enough joy to turn any bad day around.
With production from Bobby Hussy (also of The Hussy and Fire Heads) the album takes on a bigger life than their previous cassettes, achieving a level of gloss and crunch that Hussy and Sawyer captured on their 2013 standout Pagan Hiss. While a crowded creative field seems like it could wind up with bruised egos, the album doesn’t sound like three songwriters pushing and pulling at each other or, worse, trying to outdo one another. Instead the eponymous album winds up a collaborative talent show with no losers, only winners. Proud Parents bring the positive vibes that are sorely needed this year. While 2018 is draped in its own drama, sometimes its nice to just turn it all of for 30 minutes and enjoy the sun. Take a breath, maybe press repeat. No regrets.
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