April 27, 2009

Radio-friendly pop at World Cafe Live

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Watch out Maroon Five and Fall Out Boy - here comes Parachute. The five-piece band from Virginia knows how to deliver radio-friendly pop songs.

Last year, they signed with Mercury Records (a division of Island/Def Jam Recordings) and they're ready to release a debut CD, "Losing Sleep," on May 19.

Parachute is on a tour that spans the album's pre-release and post-release days. The tour, which features a number of dates with O.A.R., brings the band to Philadelphia as the headliner at the World Cafe Live on April 28.

The lineup includes Will Anderson (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Kit French (sax, keyboards, vocals), Alex Hargrave (bass), Johnny Stubblefield (drums), and Nate McFarland (lead guitar, vocals).

"We're from Charlotesville," Anderson said during a phone interview. "We all went to high school together. In 2002, we started our band - just a high-school band having fun. Once we got in college, we took it more seriously. For the most part, the band has had a nucleus of four - Kit, Alex, Johnny and me.

"We have more electric guitar and bass now. Our music evolved into a sound that's more acceptable to everybody. We want people to hear our music. It's in the same mix as Maroon Five and The Fray. It's rock with control - blue-eyed soul and pop."

Parachute increased the chances of having its music heard when the band inked a deal with Mercury.

"We had a couple independent EPs that we released over the years," Anderson said. "Then we played showcases for a lot of labels. The first one we did was for Mercury. When Mercury went to EMI, we were the first group they came to. There was a void in their roster for a band like us.

"Deciding whether to sign with a major label or stay independent was a tough decision. We knew our music was the kind that is good for a major label. No matter how easy downloading songs is, radio is still king - and we make music that is good for radio.

"I do all the songwriting. For me, writing a song can take anywhere from 10 or 15 minutes to three weeks. When I'm done, I bring the song to the band. After that, we work together on the arrangements. It really is a collaborative effort."

What: Parachute with Clarity

When: April 28, 8 p.m.

Where: World Cafée Live, 3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia

Tickets: $10

Information: 215-222-1400 or www.worldcafelive.com

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