Born in Ottawa, Parry was raised in a family of musicians deeply rooted in the local folk music community (his father was in the Toronto-based collective Friends of Fiddler's Green). He studied literary arts and later electroacoustics and dance at university. In the early 2000s, the seeds for two separate bands were planted. Bell Orchestre, which included future Arcade Fire bandmates Sarah Neufeld and Tim Kingsbury, formed in 2002. They released a trio of efforts, including 2009's As Seen Through Windows, which won a Juno for Best Instrumental in 2011. Around the same time Bell Orchestre formed, the original incarnation of Arcade Fire came into being, with Parry's role as studio hand blossoming into a full-time membership in the group. After releasing the Arcade Fire EP in 2003, the band's roster was revamped, with Parry recruiting Bell Orchestre bandmates Neufeld and Kingsbury, as well as Jeremy Gara of other side project New International Standards. Arcade Fire's critically acclaimed debut Funeral arrived in 2004. Parry handled electric guitar, synthesizer, organ, piano, accordion, xylophone, percussion, and double bass, as well as tackling engineering and recording duties. A string of Canadian and U.S. chart-toppers followed, along with multiple Polaris and Juno Award nominations and an Album of the Year Grammy for their third album, 2010's The Suburbs.
In 2018, as promotion for Arcade Fire's fifth LP, Everything Now, wrapped up, Parry released Quiet River of Dust, Vol. 1, which was inspired by Japanese folk myth, British folk music, and his experiences on a trip to Japan in 2008. Recorded with his father's former colleagues, the set featured the delicate, atmospheric single "On the Ground." ~ Neil Z. Yeung