Guest Rooms is an alt/ambient chamber-pop band from Austin, Texas. It is the solo project of Mason Parva, a college student at the University of Texas, who is originally from Houston, TX. Put Me Together is their debut six-track EP, which was written and recorded over the course of three years. Parva composed all the parts, recorded and mixed all tracks. He worked with a few of his closest friends, scattered across the country in Denver, Nashville, Austin, and Houston, who played many of the parts he wrote. Perhaps the largest accomplishment in the process of making the record was landing mastering engineer Nicholas Petersen, who mastered Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago.
Put Me Together opens with “Duval.” A vocal sample rings out atop mellow synthetic or piano chords; it’s hard to make out the exact nature of the instrument. The growing sound of a gently crashing drum beat and synthetic fluctuations emerges gradually atop the repeating chords, and the atmospheric, moody, vibe that this short EP will surely boast is already more than evident.
The title track “Put Me Together” opens with gentle un-sustained piano chords jabbed repeatedly as the sound of a throbbing drum beat reverberates somewhere in the distance. We get our first taste of Parva’s vocals here. They’re gentle, husky and very reminiscent of indie acts such as Bombay Bicycle Club. Melancholic bursts of trumpet notes and acoustic guitar swell and swoop in and out of the track at intervals, adding further layers to this piece.
There’s something individual and intriguing about this mellow sound, even if the alt-rock influences are evident here. Parva is no tribute act. He seems to tease the listener with songs which build and swell from humble beginnings. He leaves the listener desperate for more with every passing second. Huge instrumental intervals have passed, and I’m so intrigued by the sonic madness that I’ve barely noticed the vocals have dropped away for such a substantial amount of time.
“With Me” delves further into the world of the ethereal than its predecessor. Endlessly reverberating guitar notes pierce the wide open space this track creates. A fluctuating and endlessly looping synth arpeggio also creates a steady rhythm atop the slowly beating bass drum beat which loops throughout the song. Parva’s vocals yet again add a swelling, emotive tone to the music, but they don’t strive to override the other sounds. His voice is another instrument in the mix, and there’s so much musically contained within all the other sounds of this track that one barely notices the words sung. It’s all about the vibes being created. “Dickson” is driven by a mellow bass rhythm, reverberating synthetic notes and distant percussion.
One of the most impressive things about Guest Rooms is that Parva has truly crafted a unique sound which one can attribute to him. At this point, I know it is his music that I’m listening to. I know how to differentiate him from his influencers. However Put Me Together was far too short.
I now find myself impatiently awaiting the next Guest Rooms release, and I’m hoping that it’ll be a full-length album. I look forward to finding out, and I definitely look forward to hearing new tracks from this talented individual.
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