What started as a solo project from the fertile mind of Andy Bianculli has now grown into Star Parks, a band capable of lush, intricately constructed songs inspired by everyone from The Beach Boys to Mercury Rev.
In 2016, Bianculli — an ambitious singer/songwriter/guitarist from Austin, Texas — had a batch of songs from a previous project he was itching to record. He grabbed some friends — drummer Keith Lough, keyboardist Nathaniel Klugman and bassist Ben Burdick — and put down what would become Don’t Dwell, an eight-song effort rife with melancholy and anchored by Bianculli’s aching, high-whine croon.
“All the greatest records I’ve ever heard were made by Phil Spector,” Bianculli said in an interview with The Noise Room at the time. “I’ll never make one that sounds that good. No one will. It’s sad to me that most people make records on laptops or without ever picking up an instrument. I mean, it has its merits and a lot of great records were made that way. But the feeling of being in a studio around six or seven musicians and pressing record and nailing it and having the microphones pick up the energy in that room is the best way to make a record.”
Sure enough, Star Parks’ lineup is now a seven-piece cemented by Wayne Myers on trombone and Derek Phelps on trumpet. The band’s freshly minted second record, The New Sounds of Late Capitalism, teems with Spector-esque grandeur, moving from the Folk-fortified Chamber Pop of “One Big Sigh” to the kaleidoscopic Soul of “Something More,” which finds Bianculli yearning for a love seemingly out of reach (“I’m feeling sentimental by a cynical girl”) and is brightened by soaring horns, marching drums and keyboard lines that would make Herbie Hancock smile.
Star Parks play a free show this Wednesday (Feb. 26) at MOTR Pub. Showtime is 9 p.m. Bloomington's Mike Adams At His Honest Weight opens.