Parenthetical Girls

Parenthetical Girls was an experimental pop band formed in Everett, Washington.[1] Their music is notable for its combination of mainstream pop and experimental elements.

Parenthetical Girls
Zac Pennington live with Parenthetical Girls.png
Zac 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
Past membersZac Pennington
Jherek Bischoff
Amber W. Smith
Paul Alcott
Eddy 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)


Begun primarily as a recording project between Zac Pennington and Jeremy Cooper, the band went through several line-up changes, all sharing a variety of instrumental duties, and was known for its revolving-door policy to membership, with Pennington the only constant. Other members, like Jherek Bischoff and former touring musician Sam Mickens (both of the band The Dead Science) continued to contribute to the group's recorded output, though neither toured with the band.

Originally named Swastika Eye, after the Brian Eno and Robert Fripp composition, 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 (the latter of Xiu Xiu), (((GRRRLS))) featured different mixes of the seven songs on each side of the record.[2]

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 in 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 third album, was released in September 2008 as a split release via Tomlab and Slender Means Society.

Beginning in 2010, the band released a series of limited 12" EPs which would later be compiled into their 2013 album Privilege. The records were sold through Pennington's Slender Means Society label direct to fans, rather than distributed to record stores. At the end of the cycle, the fifth record came packaged with a box to house all the releases. The release was notable as each record was hand-numbered in the blood of the band number featured on the cover.[3] 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. Privilege (Abridged), was released on February 14, 2013, containing 12 tracks taken from the five Privilege EPs.


On June 19, 2017, Pennington announced his new project, Comedienne, which includes Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and longtime collaborator Jherek Bischoff. The announcement came alongside news that Parenthetical Girls is officially defunct.[4]



Singles and EPsEdit

  • 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/The Dead Science split 7-inch|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


  1. ^ "Parenthetical Girls Discography at Discogs". Discogs. 2017-06-20. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  2. ^ "Parenthetical Girls: (((GRRRLS))) EP". Cokemachineglow. 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  3. ^ "Parenthetical Girls bleed for the end of Privilege". Vice. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  4. ^ "Introducing: "Hideout"". Talkhouse. Retrieved 2017-06-19.

External linksEdit