When San Diego pop songwriter Maren Parusel’s gear was stolen on tour in New York City last year, she took the opportunity to revamp her guitar-driven sound with synths and a new resolve to overcome anything that stood in her way.
It’s in this spirit that her sophomore full-length, Tightrope Walker (out June 19 on Requiemme Records/BMG Chrysalis), draws inspiration from two stories of triumph over forces both external and within: Nietzsche’s pivotal novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Man on Wire, a documentary about legendary high-rope walker Philippe Petit, who traversed a line between the World Trade Centers (not far from where Parusel lost her gear) in 1974.
“Metaphorically, life is you walking on a tightrope,” says Parusel, a Tübingen, Germany native whose debut Artificial Gardens (produced by Black Heart Procession’s Pall Jenkins) won Best Pop Album at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards. “You’re balanced on your own rope. You can slip and fall. This album is about believing in yourself rather than looking up to figures. It’s about living your own dream.”