Parasouls Stretch Out in Charming Debut EP

Parasouls dial down the bombast and up the heart on their maiden EP: a smattering of melodic indie of different positions and varying dispositions.

I’ve had the pleasure, at different points during the year, of critiquing the advance singles that would eventually make up Parasouls’ debut EP, Drifters, Dream Makers (out today). My guess then was that they’d stay on their lane, be one-trick ponies, and keep dribbling within the paint, with sheer rudiments at their disposal.

Today I’m happy to be proven wrong on most of those counts.

Drifters, Dream Makers by Parasouls (EP)
Cover Art by Stina Honasan

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I’ve had them (semi-dismissively) pegged as lightweight tunesmiths that make songs that are akin to “[walks] down memory lane, not so much to simpler times in rock but also to less pretentious modes of creation, where heartbreak and distortion pedals somehow suffice.”

But you know what? Those “ladida” walks are the best and, really, impossible to recapture.

The gift that is Drifters, Dream Makers, then—like front-row seats to a slow-mo blossoming, or tickets to a glorious birthing, and all the awkwardness and unwieldiness that entails—is an unstinted peek at a creative unit that’s as-yet un-stunted by (the pressures of) growth.

The tunes hint at “[a] sense of wonder in one’s youth” (to quote from Parasouls’ release statement), generously borrowing from beloved musical idioms spanning decades (‘90s alternative, aughts-style indie, power pop from any time). Penned by singer-guitarist Dani Dimaano mostly in her late teens, the record also chronicles the life cycle of her innocence, if you may, and how that mirrors the band’s arc perfectly.

From L-R: Joshua Gaces (bass), Dani Dimaano (vocals/guitars), Igoy Dimaano (drums).

“[It] started off as us being a new band—having our first studio session, not quite knowing what to do yet—to us just having fun, experimenting on sounds, and not being too scared to try new things.”

It’s too early to earmark Parasouls’ creative “hallmarks” at this stage, but their maiden EP provides pretty positive portents: “Magic Marker” is effortlessly poignant; “Wouldn’t Be Anywhere Else” wistful without the wishy-washy sonics; and “Lullaby” makes good on its titular promise.

Interestingly, these aforementioned tracks—the ones that weren’t advance-released—provide a flipside to the wanderlust-riddled spirit of their previous singles (“Let’s Pretend,” “Sunny Beach”).

Put all together the modest body of work still doesn’t scream range, and the proverbial crutches still show when they walk, but give me sheer rudiments anytime, man, if it means hearing a girl sing her heart out unfettered by gratuitous intellectualizing. Give me kids who reference “Moon River” while dialing the most waterlike flanger tones. I’ll cheer them on from the corner they’ve painted themselves in, because I know they won’t be stuck there forever.

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