RICHARD REED PARRY – ” ‘Quiet River of Dust Vol 1 “

Posted: April 25, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Attempting to guess where Richard Reed Parry might go with a solo album is a nigh on impossible task. He can play just about anything, as his work with Arcade Fire demonstrates, and he’s worked with many artists over his career. The multi-instrumentalist released a new solo album, “Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1”, last September via ANTI-Records , his first for the label.

Seven tracks long, only two of which last less than six minutes, it’s music crying out for careful attention. Songs ebb and flow, and then ebb some more, teasing beauty from Parry’s quietly rich, complex compositions. Birds chirps, doors close in the background, guitars are handled delicately, and vocals drift out. Lying underneath, Parry adds gently glitching synths, neon city meets sunrise in the cornfield.

It makes for ravishing music. “Gentle Pulsing Dust” builds and builds into a sound dizzy with intimacy. “On the Ground” echoes vocals back hauntingly. Each track pulls off similar tricks, each comes packed with flourishes and swerves, begging for repeat listens.

Now he has announced its follow-up album, “Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2″, and shared its first single, “Long Way Back,” via a video for the song. Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2 is due out June 21st. Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1 was released during the autumn equinox and Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2 is being released during the summer solstice.

In a press release Parry says “Long Way Back” is “a song about remembering everything you’ve ever lived. Your childhood home, the happy or heavy or beautiful or miserable feelings you ever lived with, the fleeting and pristine random moments of perfection, the infinitely complex tapestry of emotions you feel towards your parents; anything that resides anywhere in those floating worlds that exist inside your mind and your heart, holding all these things up to the light of memory, embracing it all and then letting it go.”

Nothing is as good as “Song of Wood.” After a deliberately stuttering start, a soft trilling combines with lush vocals, growing into a final minute that is utterly gorgeous, as beautiful as anything released this year.

The most spectacular thing here is that “Song of Wood” isn’t an outlier. It’s merely the shiniest treasure on an album full of them. Vol. 2 has a lot to live up to.

Parry says the album is about “memory and the unconscious mind.”

“What separates us from dissolving into the experience around us?” he further explains in the press release. “It’s a feeling I’ve definitely had many times, where the boundaries of self and world are permeable to the point of disorientation. So much of this record is about being this young person in an older people’s world of music and song, this folk music community where the torch is passed, and losing my father at a young age, and being completely disoriented by that. This record, the songs are also referencing that nebulous psychic territory when you lose your most familiar world, when the village of your childhood disappears and you try to relocate yourself in a different one.”

“Long Way Back” by Richard Reed Parry from the album ‘Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2: That Side of the River,’ available June 21st

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