Lily & the Parlour Tricks

By Emma Dean

Diving deep into the well of musical Americana and resurfacing with a wild brew, Lily & the Parlour Tricks toe-tapping tunes range from 1940’s cornerboy songs to 1960’s psych-pop to 19th century murder ballads, with frequent detours into the smoky back room of classic rock n’ roll. Recently returned from wowing crowds in Austin, the Tricks talk music videos, SXSW and their favourite bands…

You have a wide range of influences – what do you find inspires you the most when writing songs?

[We are] most inspired by case studies of criminals and psychopaths from 18th-19th century America.  Our newest song is about a murderess named Belle Gunness. Look her up.   Musically, influences range from Johnny Cash to T. Rex to the Andrews Sisters to Nine Inch Nails.  We all grew up listening to different things, early ’90s R&B, Metallica, Buddy Holly, The Beach Boys, French pop… the list goes on forever.

Your debut EP ‘Lily & the Parlour Tricks’ came out in October 2011 to some pretty stellar reviews – how is that going? How are audiences reacting to it?

They seem to like it.  So far, so good.

Talk us through the video for ‘The Poison Song’ – how did you come up with the concept?

We wanted to work with Bank Street Films for our first video. They’re a local production company that has done a huge eclectic assortment of work – documentaries, music videos, feature films, short films – and we knew they’d do us right. We had some time constraints, so they suggested doing something extremely simple but visually exciting. The black and white concept was born, and we shot it in one 8 hour session.  Our part of it was a piece of cake; the editor Kevin Tadge had the terrifying task of putting it all together. But he did. What a guy.  What a team. We can’t sing their praises enough, and can’t wait to work with them again.

You went to SXSW in March, looking back how was it returning to Austin as LATPT as opposed to with your old bands?

The guys had been before (separately); the ladies had not.  But going with the PTs was something different; when the guys had gone before they’d been part of backing bands for other artists, Parlour Tricks went as a unit. We six are the band. So this was a new experience for everyone. And it was awesome.

What benefits did you get from going to SXSW – would you recommend it more for local acts or international bands? Will you be returning next year?

We played 10 shows in 4 days, which was surreal but made the trip worthwhile. Had we not had so many shows, including an official showcase, I don’t know if we would have gone. You really have to make it worth your while. We met a lot of people, we sold a lot of EPs, we got much tighter as a band.  That’s all you can ask for.  Maybe we’ll go back, haven’t thought that far ahead yet.

Any awesome up-and-coming local bands you’d like to give a shout out to?

We’re huge fans of In One Wind, Rocket & The Ghost, and Raccoon Fighter. Check ‘em all out.

And finally, what’s the plan for the rest of the year?

More Shows, more Fun, more Music, More More More!


Many thanks to the band for taking the time to chat to us. You can find more information about the band at:


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