Parachute has been known for its heartfelt, sax-infused pop sound since its 2009 debut “Losing Sleep.”
Now the Virginia-bred band has gone through a facelift, focusing on raw instrumentation and graceful electronic flourishes on its latest release, which is self titled.
“The songs themselves are so much simpler than our previous songs,” says singer Will Anderson. “The way Jacquire King, our producer, did it, everything is so powerful. It’s really sparse. There’s a lot of space and not that much stuff going on, compared to old stuff. In the end, you figure out how to make less stuff sound bigger.”
Anderson says the songs translate well live. The band plays the Crescent Ballroom on June 15.
“We’re in a better spot than we were with our old sound,” he says.
The change in direction, the newly wed Anderson says, was organic. Parachute knew it wanted to evolve sonically for the last three years. The band was referred to King and he “unlocked the new stuff that people hear.”
“He has a reputation for pushing his artists to home in on what he wants to do in an interesting way,” Anderson says. “The change was definitely a conscious decision. We didn’t know what exactly what would come out of it. The way he does things is really refreshing.
“He’s really easy going and really pushed us to let it be. We used to have a very regimented way of recording things, making sure it’s perfect. He was like, ‘Hey, we don’t need to edit it too much. There doesn’t need to have too much shine. We’d just capture the performance and leave it be.”
King was adamant about leaving the human elements into it. Parachute spoke to many producers, including one who specialized in EDM and programming. Parachute wanted to pull the human side through.
“It’s a nice extreme on both ends,” Anderson says. “It’s fun to play a bunch of new songs, instead of the same songs we’ve been playing thousands of times.”
What remains is Parachute’s honest lyrics. Anderson is proud his fans understand their importance.
“I love lyrics,” he says. “What’s nice is our fans have an appreciation for them, too. They’re not lost on them. I really work on lyrics and keep them simple. People get that affirmation from them. It’s worth the time and the effort to refine those lyrics.
“This record is really personal. I did everything myself. It’s nice to know I can hang my hat on it. These lyrics are coming from me, not a roomful of professional writers.”
The first single and opening track was “Young,” with lyrics “After all this growing up/I’m only good at being young.”
“We’d just gotten off the road, and I’d sold all my stuff and moved from Nashville to New York to be near my then-girlfriend, now-wife,” Anderson recalls.
“The song just spilled out of me one day, and it came from a place of feeling terrified of growing up but also wanting to get to the point of feeling more settled in my life, and not so out at sea.”
On the piano-laced “Ocean,” Parachute looks back before Anderson moved to New York. “Had It All” is a song about regret.
“Writing that song, I put myself back in one of those situations from my past where I’d messed up and hurt somebody,” Anderson says. “It’s sort of my big apology into the unknown, a way of getting out what I’d say to them now if I ever got to see them again.”
Parachute w/Billy Raffoul
Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, 602.716.2222, crescentphx.com, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 15, $24-$36.