J William Parker wrote and recorded the music we hear here on Shadowmen in his bedroom, honing every detail of the production personally. The Vietnamese folk player twines his guitar around original pieces as well as a version of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Hear My Train A’Comin’, with super-atmospheric results. Vinyl release on Guruguru Brain
Vinyl LP £23.99 GGB-009LP
LP on Guruguru Brain.
9/10 MJ Mueller 22nd August 2017
Sometimes, less is more. J. William Parker might not have coined that phrase, but he sure does understand it.
There is an otherworldly quality to this album that's positively entrancing. Seldom has a non-existent production budget been used to such evocative effect, either. Parker's guitar buzzes, hums, vibrates and frets its way through a number of instrumental pieces and vocally-enriched songs. On occasion, he disappears into a swooning, psychedelia-drenched haze of reverb and echo. His voice is rich and clear, possessed of a knowing, world-weary warmth, which - at times - rubs up against his clarion-like sharpness of delivery and inflection. And all the while, he holds you in his spell.
This is a man with a fully formed talent. There's some Nick Drake here, some Tim Hardin, some Tim Buckley, even. But it's all in miniature. This is a 21st century take on blues-folk introspection that just drifts into focus and stays there, leaving an impression that lingers long after the final notes have faded to silence. There's something happening here, (even if) what it is ain't exactly clear...
If you like low-fanfare vinyl releases with very bright futures, venture forth with confidence. J. William Parker has given us a minor masterpiece.
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