Starting in Madison, WI as the musical culmination of a decade of friendship and playing in punk bands, Claire Nelson-Lifson and Tyler Fassnacht (Fire Heads) began writing the first of Proud Parent’s jangly, garage infused pop tunes in Claire’s living room. Shortly thereafter Heather Sawyer (the Hussy) joined on drums and vocals, turning the songwriting duo into a trio, and they quickly garnered a devout following both locally and regionally, and gained a reputation throughout the midwest as a live power-pop force to be reckoned with.
Now a full fledged four piece, originally with Alex Seraphin on bass and now with Maggie Denman, the band has established its own unique dynamic with three lead singers whose voices and songwriting stand strong individually, yet blend together with such comfort and ease that it is hard to imagine them apart.
After two live tapes (out on No Coast Records and Rare Plant) and a full length cassette Sharon Is Karen (also out on Rare Plant), Proud Parents is ready with their first self-titled LP on Dirtnap Records. This record also marks the first release in eighteen years by a band from the label’s hometown of Madison, WI.
Proud Parents begins and ends with a bang as the band blasts through a dozen tightly wound tunes full of infectious, harmony ladened choruses, ripping guitar solos and hooks for days as Claire, Heather and Tyler converse, support, and share lead vocal duties like passing around a bag of Halloween candy. The album, recorded and mixed by Bobby Hussy (the Hussy, Cave Curse, Fire Heads, TIT) at his own Hex Empire, is about self-reflection, jumping from saccharine adoration, to heartfelt confession. It touches on themes of isolation, be it intentional or otherwise, anxiety, loss and moving on, with each singer coming at the songs with their own distinct perspective, using humor, red herrings, pets and metaphors to mask the demons. The songs may deal with specific emotions both complex and straightforward, but as a whole Proud Parents stands as a testament to friendship, asking for help, and trying to get better.
Proud Parents are proud of you, and you should be too.