It’s always such an honour when an artist lets me have a sneak preview of a forthcoming release – I’ve been listening to Nick Parker‘s album-in-waiting, Besta Venya, for the last few weeks now. Nick was a new discovery for me last year but he’s catapulted himself firmly as one of my very favourite songwriters and performers – be it in solo acoustic mode or with his band, The False Alarms. If you don’t want too much by the way of spoilers before listening yourself, don’t read on!
I was reading an article the other day that explained that depending on whether you major on left brain (logical) thinking or right brain (creative) thinking helps to dictate whether your appreciation of music centres on the lyrics (left brain) or the melody (right brain). Whenever I do tests to try to pigeon-hole my brain I generally come out balanced between left and right – so perhaps it’s not surprising that I find both pretty important in my very favourite music – I bring that up because Nick excels at both, he’s a clever lyricist and puts them to lovely tunes too.
There’s a thoughtful mixture of full band big sounding tracks, delicate acoustic ditties – there’s poignancy and humour throughout. Nick manages to create music that perfectly balances on the tightrope of being charming without being twee, and his songs are frequently drenched liberally with the kind of self-effacing modesty that – if you’ve ever had the opportunity to speak to him (and you should definitely do that) – wouldn’t be in the least bit surprising to you. Some of the songs are very familiar from recent gigs, others are new discoveries – but it’s genuinely a wonderful collection of music.