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Mice Parade

Led by percussionist Adam Pierce, Mice Parade's nomadic style blends indie, electronic, and global elements into music that takes listeners on emotional journeys. Beginning as Pierce's solo project, early releases like 1998's debut album The True Meaning of Boodleybaye introduced the foundations of Mice Parade's sound: live instrumentation, layers of overdubs, and intricate percussion. However, when the project became a collective featuring members of the Dylan Group, HiM, and other acts Pierce was close to, the adventurous possibilities of Mice Parade's music multiplied; on albums such as 2001's Mokoondi, the group fused Asian and African instrumentation with atmospheric post-rock. The addition of vocals on 2004's Obrigado Saudade lent yet another dimension to Mice Parade's work, while the honed songwriting of later albums like 2010's What It Means to Be Left-Handed and 2022's Lapapọ grounded the project's restless creativity with memorable hooks. Pierce began Mice Parade on his own while he was a member of Swirlies, HiM, the Dylan Group, and the Philistines Jr. Taking the project's moniker from an anagram of his name, Mice Parade's debut album The True Meaning of Boodleybaye appeared in March 1998 on Pierce's own Bubble Core label and juxtaposed lo-fi production values and heavy drums with delicate melodies. Two months later, the single "My Funny Friend Scott" appeared. On September 1999's FatCat debut Ramda, Pierce upped the ante by recording and mixing the album in one take, lending an improvised feel to his solo sessions. The following year saw the release of Collaborations, which featured contributors like Curtis Harvey, Jim O'Rourke, Doug Scharin, Aki Tsuyoko, and Nobukazu Takemura. Mice Parade's sound and creative process continued to evolve as Pierce expanded the project into a loose recording and touring collective. On March 2001's Mokoondi, Pierce and company incorporated African and Eastern influences and instruments like rubby guitars and the cheng, a Chinese harp. The group's live recordings and radio sessions were collected on 2002's All Roads Lead to Salzburg. Mice Parade's roster of collaborators grew to include Caroline Lufkin, Laetitia Sadier, Múm's Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir, and other vocalists on January 2004's Obrigado Saudade. A more accessible version of the project's experimentation, the album folded in Brazilian percussion and featured contributions from Dylan Cristy and HiM's Doug Scharin. The following April, the group built on Obrigado Saudade's approach with Bem-Vinda Vontade, which added more indie rock guitars to the mix and included Cristy, Scharin, and Valtýsdóttir among its players. After a long tour in support of Bem-Vinda Vontade, Pierce moved away from New York City to the state's Hudson Highlands, where he set up a home studio surrounded by rugged terrain. It was there that he recorded Mice Parade's seventh, self-titled album with Cristy, Scharin, Valtýsdóttir, and Sadier, among others. Appearing in May 2007, Mice Parade offered more traditionally structured songs and a spacious sound highlighted by dual drum kits. On September 2010's What It Means to Be Left-Handed, Pierce and his collaborators -- who included vocalists Caroline Lufkin, Meredith Godreau, and Somi -- fused flamenco and West African guitars with shoegaze and vintage '90s indie rock (the album featured a cover of the Lemonheads' "Mallo Cup"). Two years later, Live: England vs. France collected highlights from the What It Means to Be Left-Handed tour. Named for a bar in Madrid, January 2013's Candela featured a smaller roster of collaborators and returned to Mice Parade's focus on songwriting. Pierce and the rest of Mice Parade spent the better part of a decade recording and piecing together the project's next album. July 2022's reflective Lapapọ (a Yoruba word meaning "totally") saw the return of Lufkin and Valtýsdóttir and added Angel Deradoorian and Arone Dyer to the fold.
© Heather Phares /TiVo


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