If I was stranded on a deserted island and I only had one album to listen to, I would, at this point in my life, choose Parenthetical Girls’ Privilege.
Zac Pennington, the frontperson of Parenthetical Girls, has my all time favorite singing voice. His talent is other-worldly. On top of that, so many different genres are represented on Privilege that I doubt I would ever get bored. There’s the swingy, sunshiney tunes “Evelyn McHale” and “A Note To Self”; the ever-dreamy “On Death and Endearments”; the straight-up rock n roll of “The Pornographer”; the ballad “Sympathy for Spastics”; and the electronic, 80s-esque vibes of “The Common Touch,” “Privilege,” “Careful Who You Dance With,” and “Curtains” among the many other songs. There are two versions of Privilege floating around the internet: the version on Spotify that has twelve tracks, and the version on their bandcamp that has twenty-one tracks. I mainly listen to the version on Spotify because it’s more convenient to me right now, so I’m not super familiar with the other nine songs. If I do get bored with the original twelve tracks, I’ll have nine others to familiarize myself with while I try to build an escape raft, or whatever.
The sixth track “Sympathy for Spastics” is one of my all-time favorite songs. I don’t believe I could ever get tired of it. There’s something holy in the way the lyrics are delivered, and the words command attention like a rare creature in an unexpected place. I’ve spent many early mornings singing along to the sweeping verses while getting ready for the dreaded school day, and it made my life feel a little more cinematic.
All in all, Parenthetical Girls’ Privilege is an album that would make me feel comforted, entertained, and maybe a little less homesick as I fought off giant spiders and tigers and bears (oh my) on whatever island I would be hypothetically stranded on. I can’t think of anything that would accompany me better, other than maybe a rap album about desert island survival tips.