Monk Parker - How the Spark Loves the Tinder

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2015-09-25

I’ll admit, my first run through How the Spark Loves the Tinder I was thinking it was alternately an unconnected collection of funeral dirges or a couple of old Neil Young fans tuning up the instruments at a Mazzy Star or Mark Lanegan concert.  On second listen the stars came out.  Monk Parker has put out a great album.

Monk Parker, on this album has the sort of rich, lofi approach of early Iron and Wine, but is far more richly textured and musically expansive.   As with the opening track, ‘Sadly Yes’, a pattern of slow sizzling layers of instruments is wrapped around a husky compelling vocal delivery that evokes the alien alt-Americana landscape similar to what the existential guitar of Ry Cooder did in the movie, Paris, Texas  and what Bob Dylan did with his later-period masterpiece, Time out of Mind, and it only gets better from there.

Monk Parker (Real name: Parker Noon) has a vision of how he wants to craft a song, and with a painterly precision and a mass of understated Americana instruments, delivers a beautiful canvas filled with quiet and powerful gems.  There is a slow build to minor crescendos throughout this album with such songs as the opening track, not to mention,  ‘The Happy Hours’ and the gorgeous ‘Idle In Idlewild’ that grow in appreciation each and every listen.

There are any number of brilliant musicians out there but when one comes along that presents such carefully constructed and immaculately executed songs as there are on How the Spark Loves the Tinder, anyone who appreciates the art as well as the sound, should pay attention.

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