Parlormuse is the musical alter ego of Gavin Goszka, who began the project in 2007 as a way of sharing his appreciation for Victorian-era popular music with a wider audience. Gavin began playing the Hammond organ at age 7, later graduating to piano and studying at Baldwin Wallace University’s Conservatory of Music.
After performing as both a solo artist as well as a member of the internationally-renowned horror soundscape outfit Midnight Syndicate, he decided to turn a longstanding interest into an official passion project, drawing inspiration from the timeworn pages of his antique sheet music collection.
Parlormuse’s full-length debut, It’s Not The Coat Makes The Gentleman, put a distinctively modern spin on songs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries by fusing historic instrumentation with folk-rock arrangements. From the rollicking “McCarthy’s Boarding House” to the bittersweet “In the Gloaming,” Gentleman wove a varied sonic tapestry while keeping one foot planted firmly on the soil from which its source material was grown. Following this release, two EP-length collections (2009’s A Day Before The Feast and 2012’s Anything For A Quiet Life) explored the authentic simplicity of period piano music.
The following years would see the project being put in and out of hiatus, with only a handful of standalone tracks being released. Among these was “Harvest Home,” the project’s first foray back into fully-arranged vocal material in over five years. A second album of vocal material was announced in 2014, with several mixes-in-progress making their way onto social media, but this release would end up getting repeatedly postponed, as the sonic disparity between It’s Not The Coat Makes The Gentleman and its two successors suggested an identity crisis that would first need to be resolved.
During the summer of 2020, Gavin began revisiting a number of autumn-themed songs with the hope of assembling an EP to release that fall. In anticipation of this, he decided to fully deconstruct the project’s sound, leaving behind both the folk-rock stylings of Gentleman as well as the piano-focused minimalism of Feast and Quiet Life. What emerged was September Morn, a collection that leaned heavily on the early electronic instruments of the 1920s and 1930s for its dusky, dreamlike character. Following quickly on its heels was In Autumn Time, a second EP of themed material that further explored this new, electronically-infused sound.
Completing this consolidated run of creative output was Grinning at the Daisy Roots, a full-length album released just in time for Halloween 2020. Focusing on themes of spiritualism and the supernatural, Daisy Roots saw the inclusion of some of the project’s most challenging and varied material to date and was immediately followed by the first ever live-streamed Parlormuse concert in mid-November. A Patreon campaign was initiated during the first half of 2021 in anticipation of an upcoming release later in the year.
Although Parlormuse was originally imagined as a studio project, Gavin has performed live on several occasions, including the 2014 Cog County Faire in Montello, WI.