John Parish – Bird Dog Dante- Album Review
John Parish isn’t as well known as he probably should be. Despite his various releases and his work with artists such as PJ Harvey (as a producer), he hasn’t hit the main stream. This album is unlikely to change that fact, despite having guest performances by Harvey and Aldous Harding. But John is probably well aware of this fact!
The album opens with the slight and stripped down Add to the List, which draws the listener in to explore its delicate sound! Next up is the hit single of the album, as much as there is one. Sorry for your Loss is a song written for his good friend Mark Linkous, who died in 2010. The song features PJ Harvey on backing vocals and is a low-fi gem. The March is another slow song with guitar, drums and vocals, but all quite muted in this spacious affair.
Let’s Go is an instrumental track that starts with a monotone organ sound, before it’s sprinkled with other instruments. Type 1 is a strummed guitar track about diabetes as he tells us ‘how I’ve grown to love the smell of insulin’. Buffalo is another instrumental, but is bigger in sound and more commanding with percussion driving the tune onwards. Le Passé Devant Nouse is a simple instrumental track (among a series of such tunes) with piano and some electronic sounds. The final song The First Star is an upbeat ending, as Parish sings ‘I wish you finally found peace, or found a bar’.
This is an album filled with space. It’s a delicate affair that is best listened to on headphones. You can immerse yourself in Parish’s world. Most of Parish’s recent work has been entirely instrumental and while there are a number of such tracks here, there is good variation with some upbeat vocal songs, along with the guest appearances from Harvey and Harding. It’s a genial collection of songs, with much warmth behind the tender and laid back sounds.
Track List –
1. Add To The List
2. Sorry For Your Loss
3. The March
4. Let’s Go
5. Type 1
9. Le Passé Devant Nouse
10. Carver’s House
11. The First Star