Maren Parusel may have named her debut album Artificial Gardens, but there's nothing phony about her music. From the opening plea of "Please Don't Take Your Eyes Away" to the naked desire of "Kiss You," Gardens drips with vulnerability and sincerity.
It's hard to believe such tenderness comes from the former singer of a punk band. Shortly after moving to San Diego from her native Germany, Parusel sang in the all-girl Wild Weekend, which began as a cover band of the Zeros before segueing to original material. That group eventually parted ways, with members Kelly Alvarez and Cara Bowman later forming the sweetly scrappy Jungle Fever.
Parusel would go on to follow her own muse: pop music. Thanks to her canny knack for melody and heartfelt lyrics, she's built a solid following in San Diego and beyond. She's played SoundDiego Sessions, opened for local legends the Black Heart Procession, and last March, she hit the road for an eventful excursion to South By Southwest. (You can also look for a SoundDiego video profile of her on June 21 on NBCSanDiego's Channel 107 7 p.m. newscast on Cox and Time-Warner cable, or here on SoundDiego the following day -- Ed.)
But all of that has only been the lead-in to Parusel's debut album, the aforementioned Artificial Gardens. Thanks to some assured production by the Black Heart Procession's Pall Jenkins, every nuance of Parusel's songwriting has been lovingly committed to tape.
You can pick up a copy of all 13 irresistible tracks on June 23 at Bar Pink during the Artificial Gardens CD release party. Parusel and her band will be playing, along with Buffalo Daughter and Touche. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
After that, it's back to the road for Maren and Co. as they embark on a cross-country tour that will take them to just about every major city you can think of, and is sure to win them a slew of well-deserved fans.