The idea for Parlormuse was born when project founder Gavin Goszka decided to play through some of the Victorian era sheet music that he had been collecting one afternoon. He was immediately taken by how memorable and moving many of the songs were, and realized that most of them probably hadn’t been played or heard by the public in decades. As a longtime Victorian enthusiast, he felt that these works could still be enjoyed by audiences today, especially with the growing popularity of steampunk and a renewed awareness of Victorian culture.
When faced with the idea of simply trying to recreate the songs the way the might have sounded back when they were written (i.e. taking more of a purists’ stance), Gavin decided to offer up something a little different. Tapping his own knowledge of rock, pop, and folk music, he blended traditional instrumentation with modern influences to give the songs more of a folk-rock feel while still keeping sight of the charm, nostalgia, and character that made them so endearing to begin with. The result was 2007’s It’s Not The Coat Makes The Gentleman, a delightfully varied tour of the era’s popular music that ranged from intimate and wistful (“Some Day”) to raucously uptempo (“I’ve Worked Eight Hours This Day”).
The project’s follow-up effort, A Day Before The Feast, explored the softer, simpler side of 19th-century music via a collection of exclusively-instrumental piano tracks. This formula would prove to be successful enough to warrant a second, entirely-instrumental EP of piano music: 2012’s Anything For A Quiet Life. A short, impromptu jam was recorded during the winter of that same year which hinted at a return to the folk-rock form of Gentleman, but plans for another full-length album were scrapped indefinitely a short time later when Gavin announced he would be putting all music projects on hold for the foreseeable future.
In the Fall of 2013, a new song, “Harvest Home,” was released exclusively through the Parlormuse Facebook page. It would mark the first time the project had completed a fully arranged vocal recording in almost six years.