Burlington band Parmaga releases first EP

An art gallery may not seem like the ideal spot for a rock concert, but the Burlington City Arts center proved a perfect location for the release party of local two-piece Parmaga’s new EP, “Ghost Pops,” on Friday, March 18.  “The release party went even better than I had ever dreamed it would have,” Parmaga front man Bryan Parmalee said. “It was amazing … memorable from setup to take-down.” White fabric hung over the glass walls sparked interest and reflected subtle blue and purple lights throughout the two rooms of the gallery, lending an air of mystery for passersby. Though Parmaga has long been a Burlington music staple for some — Parmalee and drummer Brett Fiorentino have been playing together on and off as some form of the band for over three years — “Ghost Pops” is their first professional album. This release marks not just a first for the band but for the label Angioplasty Records as well. Paddy Reagan, who has been booking Parmaga at the Monkey House for years, came up with the idea of recording the band and starting a label associated with Angioplasty Media, which formed in 2003, Parmalee said. Musical contemporaries and friends Joey Pizza Slice, DJ Disco Phantom and Ryan Power — who also worked with Parmalee on the production of “Ghost Pops” — filled out the party’s bill. Brian Nagle, aka DJ Disco Phantom, planted the seed of the collaboration with Power, telling Parmalee that Parmaga should work with Power, Parmalee said. After seeing Power perform on Friday night, the reason is apparent. Power stood alone in front of the microphone wearing dark sunglasses, crooning to sometimes catchy, often moody prerecorded background tracks. Despite Power’s minimalist appearance, his voice was deep and powerful, creating an almost hypnotic feel throughout his set. “I thought DJ Disco Phantom, Joey and Ryan all killed it on Friday,” Parmalee said, “it’s very rare to have all your favorite local artists on one bill.” The excitement was palpable among the crowd as Disco Phantom’s mellow house beats tapered off, and Parmaga took front and center to show off their material, both new and old. Parmaga’s heady blend of live and electric drums, heavy indie and haunting psych melodies proved to be a successful one, sucking the listener in and not letting go until the last riff remained echoing in rattled ears. They further showed their live flair when track two of “Ghost Pops,” titled “Plenty Hands”, began with “ghostly” apparitions decked in white sheets flitting throughout the crowd, ominously wailing and waving their hands. Whether you’ve heard of Parmaga before or are just discovering them now, be assured that you can expect more to come from both them and Angioplasty Records. According to Parmalee, they’ll both be heading out of Vermont to get their name out and garner support. If all goes well, expect another release from Parmaga around the end of the year.