Apparently, Zac Pennington's threat that Parenthetical Girls' set at Bumbershoot would be his band's last was only half true. His Portland-by-way-of-Everett experimental pop outfit hasn't disbanded entirely, but this version of Parenthetical Girls sounds markedly different from the previous incarnation. (Drummer Matt Carlson left the band after Bumbershoot; Pennington, Rachael Jensen, and Jherek Bischoff remain). The symphonic, over-top, Fiery Furnaces-styled music has been left behind; the band's newest material -- including "Evelyn McHale" -- is downright melodic. It's simple and lovely, without affect or special effects.
And it looks like there will be more easy listening coming from Pennington and crew in the coming months. Parenthetical Girls will release Privilege, the band's new full-length, as a box set of five 12-inch EPs, sold separately over the next 15 months. The first 12-inch, On Death & Endearments, will be released on February 23. More information on how to acquire these EPs (they're not being sold in stores) can be found on the band's Web site.