When five-piece funk outfit Parcels first emerged from Australia in 2016, the world hadn’t realized that we had been introduced to one of this generation’s most promising modern funk and nu-disco acts.

With roots deeply intertwined in nu-disco and funk, Louie Swain, Patrick Hetherington, Noah Hill, Anatole “Toto” Serret, and Jules Crommelin effortlessly channel the spirit of yesteryears’ musical icons while infusing a unique and modern twist. Their ability to seamlessly blend genres transcends borders –– captivating audiences worldwide with their distinctive sound.

At the core of Parcels’ appeal lies their ability to transport listeners to a different sonic realm. Their music echoes the infectious grooves of ‘70s legends like Steely Dan, Marvin Gaye, The Whitest Boy Alive, and Toto while adding their own fresh and nostalgic contemporary flair. With each track, Parcels masterfully crafts an immersive experience, drawing audiences into their sonic universe with irresistible melodies and rhythms that are as infectious as they are transcendent.

As impeccable as their discography sounds straight from the studio, one thing that could be noted about the group is that their live performances are nothing short of mesmerizing. Performing in perfect harmony, each member of Parcels complements one another to create a unified and electrifying presence –– with every note played and every beat struck so meticulously orchestrated. 

To those in attendance at Wanderland Festival’s 2024 showcase, you’d already know the group delivered one of the best showcases of the night, with their one-hour set acting as a transformative experience that left audiences spellbound and longing for more. Yet before their acclaimed performance, Billboard Philippines got to sit down and chat with Parcels about what makes their live renditions of their music simultaneously special and resonant with audiences, as well as what influences them to change up their sound every time they perform on stage.

You recently released your latest album Live Vol. 2 late last year. With both that record and its first installment, Vol. I, what is it about translating your songs into live, stripped-down sessions that appeal to you guys as a band?

Hill: I think it feels like a natural progression of our work. You write a record, and then you go on tour. That’s the natural cycle of being in a band. And once you’ve played those songs so many times on the road, you just wanna change them up and make them different to keep them exciting for you. And by the time the tour is done, they are so different and in a different space that it’s almost worth capturing them on a new record. 

Yeah, and with how it translates into it’s new versions and renditions, it says a lot about how the material is very rich. And it gets to resonate with audiences differently than how the original versions did, so it’s really interesting to see that progression over time as well. So, today marks your first time performing in Manila. What songs would you like to dedicate to your Filipino audiences, and the songs that are looking forward to your performance on the Wanderland stage?

Hetherington: Well, we’re going to dedicate all our songs tonight to our Filipino audiences. But specifically, I don’t know though, it feels like it’s very warm here and it feels like it’s going to be kind of a relaxed vibe this evening. 

I guess it’s because Jack Johnson will be playing soon after us, but we’re going to sink into the soft kind of, and light type of ambiance with our songs, then perhaps progress into the more fun and energetic tracks soon after. That will be really fun.

Is that what you guys usually notice from your live audiences, in other shows? Even around the world? That soft feeling?

Hetherington: It’s honestly really different everywhere. That’s really apparent at the moment because we’re on a tour around Asia, and every crowd and country that we’ve played for is just so different with their energy. From Thailand to Japan, to Korea, every night is super different. It’s our first time in the Philippines, so we actually don’t know exactly what to expect. *laughs*

But, are you guys excited for what’s in store for tonight?

Hetherington: Yeah, totally. It’s exciting playing for new people who’ve never seen us, and really getting to experience a whole new energy on stage in a different place with its own culture. 

Yeah, and not many musical acts can seamlessly blend funk, techno, and house together with a variety of genres. What aspect of your creative process allows you to play around with all these genres so well?

Hill: I think it’s the fact that having the diverse members of the band, like there’s five of us, and we’re all kind of into different things. And we listen to different things, in our own different times, so a lot of it gives us the space and freedom to just follow and find our own set of inspirations. 

So I think it’s a thing that we’ve wanted to do from the start –– and keep instilling in the audience as well as that, you’ll never know what we’re gonna do. And we’re making sure we don’t feel as if we’re stuck into a box or anything like that, it’s always been something we’ve always wanted to avoid and to keep being informed, to grow and change over time.

So with that evolution, what’s next for you guys as a band? Is there new music on the way this year?

Hill: Well, Louie mentioned something like he wanted us to be –

Hetherington: Psychedelic chamber folk?

Hill: Psychedelic chamber folk, yeah. *laughs*

Hetherington: That’s what only Louie wants to do. *laughs* 

Hill: We’ll see [honestly], yet we don’t know yet. But we’ve been working on new music, definitely. So there’s gonna be new things in the pipeline –– where we’ve got stuff that we’re excited about and working on, and hopefully we’ll get to share them at some point. Maybe sometime soon, so we’ll see!

Listen to Parcels’ latest entry into their live album series, Live Vol. 2, below: