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Parenthetical Girls on Wikipedia
Parenthetical Girls
Zac Pennington live with Parenthetical Girls.pngZac Pennington live with Parenthetical Girls at Lucignolo, Verona, 2007.
Background information
OriginEverett, Washington, United States
GenresBaroque pop
Experimental music
Years active2002–2013
LabelsSlender Means Society, Acuarela Discos, Tomlab
Associated actsThe Dead Science, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Former Ghosts, Xiu Xiu
MembersZac Pennington
Jherek Bischoff
Amber W. Smith
Paul Alcott
Past membersEddy Crichton (2006-2011)
Freddy Ruppert(2010)
Rachael Jensen (2006-2011)
Jeremy Cooper (2003-2004)
Sam Mickens (2004-2006)
Matt Carlson
Rebecca Carlisle-Healy (2004-2005)
Owen Ashworth (2005)
Brenna Murphy (2006)

Parenthetical Girls was an experimental pop band formed in Everett, Washington. Their music is notable for its combination of saccharine pop and experimental elements.


  • 1 History
  • 2 Apparent Breakup
  • 3 Discography
    • 3.1 Albums
    • 3.2 Singles and EPs
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Begun primarily as a recording project between Zac Pennington and Jeremy Cooper, the band has gone through several line-up changes before settling on the current version of the band, consisting of Zac Pennington, Jherek Bischoff, Paul Alcott and Amber W. Smith, all sharing a variety of instrumental duties. Jherek Bischoff and former touring member Sam Mickens (both of the band The Dead Science) continue to contribute to the group's recorded output, though neither tours with the band.

Originally taking their name from the Brian Eno and Robert Fripp composition "Swastika Girls", the band self-released their limited run debut EP Christmas With Swastika Girls in 2002. Following Cooper's departure and a name change, Pennington released (((GRRRLS))), the band's vinyl-only debut album on his own Slender Means Society label in 2004. Recorded with the help of Jherek Bischoff and Jamie Stewart (of Xiu Xiu fame), (((GRRRLS))) features a total of seven songs repeated on both sides of the vinyl record, each side featuring the respective mixes of Stewart and Bischoff. This was followed by the digital-only self-release of their second Christmas-themed EP Christmas with Parenthetical Girls that same year, as well as their second album Safe as Houses (released by Slender Means Society in the United States and Acuarela Discos throughout Europe), the expanded CD reissue of the (((GRRRLS))) album, and a third self-released Christmas EP A Parenthetical Girls Family Christmas in 2006. A split 7-inch with the band The Dead Science was released by Obsolete Vernacular in 2007. Entanglements, the group's orchestral-themed third album, was released in September 2008 as a split release via Tomlab and Slender Means Society.

Quote from the band's website: 'Ever the pragmatists, Parenthetical Girls are set to release Privilege—the band’s new full length—as a box set of five extremely limited 12″ EPs on their own Slender Means Society label. These EPs will be sold separately in sequence every quarter over the next 15 months, each as they are completed. They will not be distributed to stores. As the cycle concludes, the fifth and final 12″ will come packaged in a beautiful, aesthetically cohesive LP box designed to house all four of the preceding releases, forming the complete Privilege album. Limited to 500 physical copies per EP, the 12″s will each feature original art by renowned Swedish illustrator Jenny Mörtsell, and will be hand-numbered in the blood of their respective band members.' The first 12" entitled Privilege, Pt. I: On Dead And Endearments was released February 23, 2010 and was numbered in the blood of lead singer Zac Pennington.

The second Privilege EP—subtitled The Past, Imperfect—was released on September 21, 2010. The track list is as follows: "The Common Touch," "Weaknesses," The single "Young Throats," and "Present Perfect (An Epithalamium)."

Parenthetical Girls' fourth full-length album, Privilege (Abridged), was released on February 14, 2013. It contains 12 tracks taken from the five Privilege EPs.

Apparent Breakup

After four years of inactivity, group leader Zac Pennington all but confirmed that Parenthetical Girls had disbanded. When asked via his personal Twitter if the band had broken up permanently, Pennington replied "I'm bad at goodbyes."


  • 2004 (((GRRRLS)))
  • 2006 Safe as Houses
  • 2008 Entanglements
  • 2013 Privilege (Abridged)

Singles and EPs

  • 2002 Christmas with Swastika Girls EP (as Swastika Girls)
  • 2004 Christmas with Parenthetical Girls EP
  • 2006 Twenty Bees 7"
  • 2006 A Parenthetical Girls Family Christmas EP
  • 2007 Parenthetical Girls/Dead Science 7" split
  • 2007 Addendum (Safe as Houses European bonus EP)
  • 2008 A David Horvitz Picture Disc with Parenthetical Girls
  • 2008 A Song for Ellie Greenwich
  • 2009 The Scottish Play: Wherein the Group Parenthetical Girls Pay Well-intentioned (If Occasionally Misguided) Tribute to the Works of Ivor Cutler (Mini-Album)
  • 2009 Morrissey/The Smiths 7" split (with Xiu Xiu)
  • 2009 "The Christmas Creep"
  • 2010 Tomlab Alphabet Singles Series Z
  • 2010 Privilege, Pt. I: On Death & Endearments
  • 2010 Privilege, Pt. II: The Past, Imperfect
  • 2011 "Untanglements" (Entanglements Alternate Versions)
  • 2011 Covers. (Rare Cover Versions)
  • 2011 Privilege, Pt. III: Mend & Make Do
  • 2011 Careful Who You Dance With (Remixes EP)
  • 2011 Extra Life/Parenthetical Girls 12" split
  • 2011 "Demos for the Dreaming" (Kate Bush Covers)
  • 2011 Privilege, pt. IV: Sympathy For Spastics
  • 2011 Parenthetical Girls Save Christmas
  • 2012 Privilege, pt. V: Portrait of a Reputation
  • 2012 Good Christian Men Rejoice, It's Parenthetical Girls


  • Bowers, William. (July 6, 2006) "Parenthetical Girls: Safe As Houses". Retrieved July. 22, 2007.
  • Unterberger, Richie. (2006) "Allmusic Review - Safe As Houses." Retrieved July. 22, 2007.

External links

  • Official band site
  • Slender Means Society (record label)
  • Parenthetical Girls at AllMusic
  • Official Myspace Page - downloadable and/or streaming MP3s, current tour dates.
  • Acoustic Session with 'They Shoot Music - Don't They'

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