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The answer to a new - and really good - indie-rock band is here. New Zealand's PARK RD have released their debut album The Novel, featuring thirteen memorable tracks that explore the complexities of life, love and growing up. The project is an intricate maze of relatable lyrics, "sprinkes [of] little details like synths or guitar parts that only happen once in a song," the band says, and catchy hooks. We spoke to the band about the world of PARK RD and creating their debut album:

Congratulations on creating and releasing your debut album! We love how the album starts. It’s so gentle. Tell us about June and why you wanted to start the album in this way?

Thank you so much! June was actually the very first song we wrote on the album, way before we even knew we were going to record an album. We made the first demo at our old flat in Mt Eden in Auckland, and when we wrote it we thought straight away that it sounded like an intro track to an album. Afterwards we forgot about the song until we had finished recording The Novel and wanted an intro track. We remembered June, reimagined the song by getting the whole band to put their own parts on it and it came to life.

You’ve said the album is about love. Was there a love-related catalyst that gave way to this album? What else was inspiring you as you wrote it?

The songs came from experiences that were happening at the time. The album was written over a long period of time, so different songs came from different circumstances. We based it all off real life, whilst also including fantasy here and there.

Talk to us about the production and instrumentation. What did you hope to achieve through the production? Did you have references? Who did you work with?

Leo and Carlos from the band co-produced the album with our longtime friend/producer Josh Edmonds. We really wanted the record to sound like how we play live, but bigger and with added sparkles. Many of the songs came from Leo’s laptop and kept the production elements from the demos.  We referenced production from Foo Fighters, Spacey Jane, The 1975.

Where did you create the album? Is there somewhere specific that helped to cultivate your writing process?

The songs came from a number of places, the main ones being our practice space out in West Auckland, the studio, in particular the backroom which we set up as studio B, and our bedrooms. A lot of the lyrics came from night walks around Mt Eden, and this school across the road from the studio where Tom would walk around and play the demos over and over.

What was the biggest challenge making this album?

We spent a lot of time in the studio writing the album and wanted to be able to focus solely on it for that time, so a few of us quit our day jobs and didn’t have a lot of money for that time, which was definitely a challenge. There were also times where we’d listened to the songs so much that we would doubt ourselves a bit and question if it was any good.

How has living in New Zealand influenced your songwriting and sound?

I’d say the West Auckland landscape and bush definitely has an influence on the magical side of the album. When you are around all that nature, you can’t help but feel there’s something magical that we can’t see.

You’re going on a major tour this year. Which song are you most excited to bring to life?

We’ve only played our song ‘Tonight, I’ a handful of times live. It’s a very emotional, guitar driven song with a drumbeat that always makes me wanna bop. The guitar solo in the final chorus has a lot of guts to it, and the angsty chorus is easy to sing along with. Looking forward to playing this song with more audiences.

Who’s on your playlist right now? Which artists are you excited about?

We all listen to a wide range of music here’s an artist from each of us: Tom - Mk.gee, Leo - Fontaines D.C. (looking forward to their new album), Angus - Steely Dan (The Royal Scam but they’re all GOATED), TK - Mac Miller (in particular, Swimming), Carlos - Sigur Ros.

What’s something you guys are passionate about - aside from music?

We have quite a few gamers in the band, some of the favourite games are Elden Ring (sadly we’ll be in Aus for the launch of Shadow of the Erdtree :( - Carlos), Fallout 76 (it’s actually good now!) and Fortnite.

Carlos is also passionate about DIY guitar customisation and building.

Tom enjoys surfing and has recently been getting into basketball, putting his height of 6’7 to use.

What’s next?

We have been in the process of writing new material which has been really fun. It’s been a massive effort leading up to the release of our debut album that’s finally out, so we gonna celebrate having that out! We fly to Australia on May 30th to play seven shows with The Rions, which I think will be the perfect way to celebrate!

Listen to The Novel HERE.