DOMINIONATED’s PRESS PLAY artist for November is Parlour Panther. The duo consists of Steph Hodgins and Lee Newman, non-binary queer spouses who record and produce their own music from their home base of Vancouver, Canada which is on the Unceded Coast Salish territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Earlier this year, Parlour Panther released their album, Retrograde, and in the spirit of their guitar-and-synth-driven pop songs are sharing “Out in the Ether,” a brand new, unreleased track that takes some inspiration from DOMINIONATED Co-founder Jim Di Gioia’s ‘s review of the album, which praises the band for not being afraid to “let their freak flag fly.”
“Out in the Ether” was inspired by this sentiment and they really did let it fly. The song begins with a bass line inspired by artists like Royal Canoe from Winnipeg and St. Vincent; this line sets the tone for the whole track: bold and freaky. The chorus is about experiencing frequent insomnia and anxiety when trying to fall asleep. As they continued writing together it also became about how each of them relates to anxiety — whether it’s having restless sleeps, or anxiety-filled dreams, not sleeping at all, or having social anxiety. Especially in this post-non-post-pandemic era, the song talks about wanting to socialize, and missing it, but being fearful of it at the same time. The arrangement creates the feeling of panic and anxiety while being somewhat calmed by the soothing vocals of Parlour Panther.