Winter is a harsh beauty. She leaves the world stripped bare; naked, vulnerable and cold. Fortunately Melbourne based artist Dan Parsons has a remedy to keep the seasonal blues at bay with the release of his self-titled second album which boasts 10 tracks that are as warm and comforting as a lovers embrace. The sound and tone are world’s apart from 2010’s Firestarter and sees Parsons going back to basics, recording the music himself on a four track tape machine. His labour of love is both emotionally and sonically satiating with the gorgeous melodies and genteel vocals disguising the oft sombre and reflective lyrics.
The record as a whole feels more grown up than its predecessor. Parsons projects the unabashed confidence of youth with the hindsight of a man who has lived a thousand lives. He knows himself now and he knows what he wants to say as he leads the listener on a journey of sorts through soundscapes that explore living and all of the complicated emotions to be experienced therein. The sweeping melancholia of ‘Close Your Eyes, Let it End’ gets under your skin as Parsons bids farewell to a friend. ‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’ has driving rhythms that pulse along with the urgent need to escape which emanates from the music. ‘Battle Scars’ is an eloquent track which showcases Parsons songwriting at its best; a simple, but beautiful melody combined with direct lyrics and an impassioned delivery which sends chills down the spine.
One of the most endearing things about Parsons is the way he is able to put everything on the line and make it seem like a casual act to be so honest and exposed. He is an integral artist whose music never ceases to delight. Dan Parsons is a do-it-yourself triumph that will leave a permanent imprint on your heart.
Review Score: 8.0 out of 10
Dan Parsons‘ self-titled LP is available tomorrow, 26th July 2013.